Thursday, July 21, 2011

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Reaction to the website:  This web site is dedicated to helping people understand what skills they need in the 21st century work force.  The work environment is changing and many of the blue collar jobs have been eliminated.  The 3R’s and 4C’s are the skills most employers are looking for and will be most in demand.  (As a side note, usually 3R’s refer to 3 words, each beginning with the R sound.  Not so on this web page.)  Many of these skills should already have been developed at home (parents) and throughout school (former teachers).  To be honest, are not any different than the skills from the 19th century.  However, more employers will be looking for these skills.  Therefore we need to make sure students acquire these skills.
Information that surprised me:  Nothing on the web site surprised me per se, with the exception that the impression is given that these 21st century skills have someone been created recently.  These skills have always been needed.  Many times they have been overlooked with a greater emphasis on content knowledge.
Information or opinions that I disagree with:  “Every child in the U.S. needs 21st century knowledge and skills to succeed as effective citizens, workers and leaders.”  This statement is part of the mission statement.  There are many effective citizens, workers, and leaders who do not possess 21st century knowledge.  You don't have to have these skills to be successful in the real world.  The workers who collect my trash may not know how to turn a computer on, but could be very productive members of society.  I agree that the number of jobs available to people without 21st century jobs is dwindling and therefore it is more difficult to find a job.  It is not impossible, just more difficult. 
 Implications for me and my students:  21st century skills are in demand.  The more skills someone has, the better prepared they are to handle a job (and a family for that matter).  Teachers need to ensure these skills are being taught on an everyday basis.  Parents should also be teaching these skills at home.  However, as teachers, we have no control over how that is handled at home.  I have been teaching my students these 21st century skills for a while now.  I have always felt the ability to solve problem (and think critically) is one of the most important skills someone can have.  I feel my role now is to enhance the classroom so student can acquire these skills with more variation in the classroom.

1 comment:

  1. Tim,

    You bring up a good point with regard to the statement mentioned in the organization’s mission. You are right - what would we do without plumbers, electricians, and hair stylists? We should incorporate students' interests and allow choices. Perhaps offering avenues and allowing students to decide how to accomplish the task. Maybe the types of problems in which students solve together addresses students' learning styles and interests. The purpose though remains the same for all students - working together to solve a problem while developing critical thinking skills.

    I also like how you mentioned your role in the classroom, and that you will use technology as a tool to enhance students’ learning and critical thinking skills. It is evident that you realize the importance of incorporating 21st century learning skills into your classroom.

    ~ Malissa