Sunday, March 1, 2009

21st Century Skills from a Designer's Point of View

(Hat tip to Nancy Sojka, a former colleague of mine, who writes an excellent blog for the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education)

The design firm IDEO, which has recently consulted some elementary schools in California, has their own perspective on what teachers can do to teach the 21st century skills, and it is definitely worth a read. Some of the points I found interesting:

Create an environment that raises a lot of questions from each of your students, and help them translate that into insight and understanding. Educa­tion is too often seen as the transmission of knowledge.

Engaged learning can’t always happen in neat rows. People need to get their hands dirty.

Teachers are designers. Let them create. Build an environment where your teachers are actively engaged in learning by doing.

Learning doesn’t happen in the child’s mind alone. It happens through the social interactions with other kids and teachers, parents, the community, and the world at large.

If you want to drive new behavior, you have to measure new things. Skills such as creativity and collaboration can’t be measured on a bubble chart. We need to create new assessments that help us understand and talk about the developmental progress of 21st-century skills.

Very reaffirming to the discussion we're having here and elsewhere about what teaching and learning in the 21st century looks like.

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