Friday 5: 21st Century Skills

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Lucy Gray

Feb 14, 2009, 12:57:59 AM2/14/09
to Friday 5
Crossposted at the Infinite Thinking Machine:

You all met the other Lucie last week; my friend Lucie deLaBruere will
be posting here every other week. I think you all will enjoy her
practical and insightful work.

This week, it's my turn to come up with a thoughtful list of resources
for teachers, and I have chosen the theme of 21st Century Skills.
Recently, in the main stream press and in the edublogger/eduTwitter
world, there has been debate about the validity of such a skill set.
This particular blog post will not do justice to this ongoing
argument, but I do have one observation to add.

I recently had the amazing opportunity to travel to Singapore to visit
schools and assist with the 2008 Apple Distinguished Educator Asia
Institute. A more comprehensive blog post about my experiences will
follow one day (I'm still mulling over everything I experienced), but
I was really struck by the attitudes of the people I encountered. It
seemed to me, from my conversations with administrators and teachers
from Singaporean and international schools, that many agreed with the
basic idea that students and teachers today are require to employ a
different mindset and set of abilities in this changing world. There
was no ongoing debate; it was accepted that education had to change in
light of this, and that this change happened through collaboration and
exploration of global best practices.

In my opinion, U.S educators need to stop arguing semantics on this
topic and need to get down to the business of educating our peers
about teaching and learning in the 21st century. Here we are, nearly
10 years into this new millennium, poised to start making meaningful,
substantive change happen. Let's get on with it, people! We've got
hard work to do!

That said, I'm off my soapbox and I recommend the following resources
for investigating the idea of 21st Century Skills:

1) The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner (Tony's website:

2) The Partnership for 21st Century Skills

3) 21st Century Literacies: Tools for Reading the World

4) 21st Century Learning

5) The Emergent 21st Century Teacher, Mark Treadwell

6) The Metiri Group: What's So Different About the 21st Century?

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