I wrote this post as a short article to be included in our school’s monthly PTO Newsletter:
21st Century Learners
Today’s kindergarteners will retire in 2071. Most likely they will have several careers in their lifetime, most of which haven’t even been imagined yet. What our students do have in common, however, is that they are 21st century learners. While there may be some controversy as to exactly what this phrase means, most of us in the educational field understand it to mean that in order to succeed in school, career, and life, students must take the 3 R’s of the 20th century and be able to apply them using the 3 C’s: creatively, collaboratively, and with excellent communication. Gone are the days when students will learn a little about a lot. It’s imperative that they now delve deeper into subjects, learning how to evaluate information, synthesize it into something unique, and communicate their findings to peers and colleagues. Education is shifting to emphasize skill over content, with teachers and parents moving from the role of disseminator of knowledge to facilitator of learning. With so much information so readily available, it is our responsibility to teach our kids how to find what they need, ensure that it’s reliable, and most importantly, to stay curious. The world is only going to keep moving faster. In order to keep up and to develop into productive citizens of the 21st century, our kids must become lifelong learners, able to handle large amounts of information in a responsible manner.
Are you ready? We’re going – with or without you!