In this global marketplace, kids needto learn the proper skills and gainhands-on, real-world experience ifthey hope to survive the workforce.If teachers mix career-orientedprojects into their classrooms, theywill help students master coresubjects and learn skills includingcommunication, problemsolving, critical thinking, globalawareness, financial literacy andtechnology.“The world is constantly changing,”said Lisa Dworkin, the president ofthe personal finance nonprofit groupMoney Masters, “but essential skillssuch as reading, writing and financialliteracy prepare our children foranything.”
THE 21ST CENTURY The new millennium was ushered in by a dramatic technological revolution. We now live in an increasingly diverse, globalized, and complex, media-saturated society. According to Dr. Douglas Kellner at UCLA this technological revolution will have a greater impact on society than the transition from an oral to a print culture.1 Todays kindergarteners will be retiring in the year 2067. We have no idea of what the world will look in five years, much less 60 years, yet we are charged with preparing our students for life in that world. Our students are facing many emerging issues such as global warming, famine, poverty, health issues, a global population explosion and other environmental and social issues. These issues lead to a need for students to be able to communicate, function and create change personally, socially, economically and politically on local, national and global levels.
21ST CENTURY SKILLS 21st Century Schools, LLC recognizes the critical need for developing 21st century skills. However, we believe that authentic education addresses the “whole child”, the “whole person”, and does not limit our professional development and curriculum design to workplace readiness. 21st century skills learned through our curriculum, which is interdisciplinary, integrated, project-based, and more, include and are learned within a project-based curriculum by utilizing the seven survival skills advocated by Tony Wagner in his book, The Global Achievement Gap:
CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVINGReason EffectivelyUse various types of reasoning (inductive, deductive, etc.) as appropriate to the situationUse Systems ThinkingAnalyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systemsMake Judgments and DecisionsEffectively analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims and beliefsAnalyze and evaluate major alternative points of viewSynthesize and make connections between information and argumentsInterpret information and draw conclusions based on the best analysisReflect critically on learning experiences and processesSolve ProblemsSolve different kinds of non-familiar problems in both conventional and innovative waysIdentify and ask significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions
COLLABORATION ACROSS NETWORKS ANDLEADING BY INFLUENCEWhat is it? Collaboration is a recursive process where two or more people work together towards an intersection of common goals by sharing knowledge, learning, and building c onsensus. The action of working with one or more other people to produce or create something (Lomas, 2008). Leadership can be defined as ones ability to get others wil willingly follow (Hakala, 2009). More information about leadership qualities can be found.
AGILITY AND ADAPTABILITY SWC member Terry Terriff and I were had a great discussion Saturday over a pint or two on just what agility, adaptation and innovation are – it’s a subject he’s spent allot of time thinking, interviewing and writing about - its also a subject I like to consider. This is something we’ve talked around on other threads – from the “Great Generals” to “Adaptation” and others. It applies at the tactical through the operational through the strategic, gets into leadership, organizational structure, doctrinal philosophy, etc.
INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURIALISM What is it?Initiative and Entrepreneurialism refers to an individuals ability to turn ideas into action. It involves creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives.Why is it important? Wagner (2010) stresses that corporations have changed form being top down to a flattened model that expects employees to figure things out on their own. Our schools are still in the teacher as the boss and student as the employee model where the student gets stuck and the teacher has the answers, which doesn’t prepare 21st century learners for the work force. Too often employees are expected to “figure things out” yet they instinctively run to the boss looking for the answer.
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