Today education is at a cross roads. As educators we need to realize that learning can take place 24x7 ,with or without us ,and that young people come to school knowing much more than we do in some areas.They have the potential to learn anything they want to learn at any time they want to learn it. Therefore, instead of focusing on the content,we really need to focus on what it means to be a learner and how to help students learn deeply and most effectively.We need to model metacognition and demonstrate the value of thinking about thinking.We need to lead them to think deeply and help them understand how to synthesize and analyze and to create to operate in higher order skills.
A 21st century curriculum should provide opportunities for students to build relationships,network and act collectively.Students should be asked to synthesize information and demonstrate self-reliance.We also need to teach our student empathy for people from diverse backgrounds, because in the future, a great deal of their interactions will be carried out not in physical world but in online spaces,where they will be collaborating with people around the world..
I advocate a holistic approach to learning in the 21st century both for the young children we are guiding and for us teachers in our professional and personal lives.
- We need to participate in face to face learning and build deep relationship with other people whom we trust and with whom we can take learning risks and share and demonstrate what we know and care about.
- We need to learn through global communities of inquiry.These are communities we find or create for ourselves that are populated by others who share our commitment to work and learn together over an extended period of time,mostly in virtual space.These diverse communities expand our understanding of both commonalities and differences. They are places where we test our ideas and challenge ourselves and others to question, reflect and grow. - We need to build a personal learning network (PLN) . A PLN is a resource for do -it-yourself learning,a revolving and evolving virtual web of not only human experts but also object and resources that are all accessed through the power of web based networking tools and mobile technologies.
We need to be a visionary. We are not marching slowly into the future; we are speeding towards it in a whirlwind frenzy, mandated by the exponential rate of change. As educators, we must continuously ask ourselves,What do students need to learn to succeed in the world to come? A world we can't even imagine.
Dr. George K.J.
Loyola Public School