21st Century Skills as Transformation in K-12 Schools–Ken Kay
Why is the world different?
1. We need our students to become effective 21st Century Citizensï¿½much more complicated. California ballot.
2. The US is falling behindï¿½very conscious about sports, why don’t we have the same awareness of where our students are in the global educationï¿½We’re in the middle on content, we’re at the bottom when dealing with analytical thinking and problem solving.
3. The magnitude of our competition is changingï¿½20 years ago when we had a major challenge from Japan we did something about itï¿½business schools weren’t teaching state of the art business strategiesï¿½just in time production, TQMï¿½today same thing, not focused on those needsï¿½20 years ago we transformed business schoolsï¿½those students are pretty much up to speedï¿½can’t say that about people coming out of colleges of educationï¿½the threat from Japan, however, was 1/20 that of what we face today from China and Indiaï¿½kids are leaving without the “flat skills”
4. The nature of work is changingï¿½How many of our grandparents had only one or two jobs in their lifetimesï¿½70-80%…how many jobs will young people have by the time they are 38? 10.2ï¿½the point is that the model of mastering subject, master contentï¿½the skill set we need now is not the mastery of one set of facts it’s the ability to adapatable and flexible, to move in and out of contentï¿½need to evolve into a new model of education.
What is the framework for 21st Century skills?
20th Centuryï¿½core subjects over assessment. 21st Centuryï¿½life skills, 21st Century content, core subjects, learning and thinking skills, ICTliteracy over 21st century assessment. ICT literacy says that the reason we need technology is to accomplish learning and thinking skills. The role of technology is do you know how to use the tech to accomplish critical thinking. 21st Century content is about those subjects that are underemphasizedï¿½global awareness, financial literacy, civic engagement, health and wellness skills. Life skillsï¿½need self directed learners. HERE ARE THE Critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation skills, communication and information skills, collaboration, contextual learning, information and media literacyï¿½these are the attributes our young people have to haveï¿½kids that know this will succeed. Goal of technology is to accomplish those skills. How does their knowledge of technology link to those skill sets today. Life skills, leadership, ethics, accountabiluty, adaptability, personal productivity, personal responsibility, people skills, self direction, social responsibility. Content: Global awareness, financial, civic responsibility, health and wellness.
Four Critical Issues
1. Accountability and metrics are here to stayï¿½in the 21st Century, how can we only have a metric for content when critical thinking is crucial.
2. Assessment–Can you imagine a 21st computer company that is only measuring it sales of 1960s computers. We need to measure metrics of innovative learning. Our system tells kids the same piece of information a 100 times and then tests to see if the kid can tell it back the 101st time. But can our kids see something for the first time and have the skills to analyze it and make sense of it. Today’s assessments are a conspiracy of convenience–Paul Resta, U of Texas. 21stcenturyskills.org
3. High School Reform–Results that matter report being released tomorrow. New definition of rigor that includes 21st Century Skills. 21st Century skills should become the design spaces for high school reform.
4. Professional Development–can’t expect our current teachers to know how to teach critical thinking and problem solving without pd.
Every student must be a critical thinker, problem solver, innovator, effective communicator, effective collaborator, self-directed learner, information and media literate, globally aware, civically engaged, financially and economically literate. These should become the design specs for 21st Century education.
The discussion of 2st Century learning skills is very valuable, but we need to do more than talk about what should be done, we need people to start the implementation process. There are significant road blocks to implementation of curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers and have the intellectual tools to validate the information they have access to. As we move forward the most valuable commodity in our economy is ‘information.’ The ability to ‘possess’ information has some value, but the real value of information is the ability to access it quickly and to validate it in the necessary context. To do this you need to have the ability to synthesize multiple sources of information, create common bonds, and remix content to create a new source of information.
As technology educators, we need to work toward increasing the level of integration by students, teachers and administrators.