Promoting a 21st Century Learning Environment
In a recent read of the World Economic Forum report, an interesting concept, though not a surprising one, was explored – the delivery of education to meet 21st century demands. The report opens the channels of communication by asking whether educational institutions are providing such opportunities for growth, with what can sometimes be labelled as ‘old-school pedagogy.’ This is an interesting point. How often are we as parents and teachers providing opportunities for our students to learn such skills? Thankfully however, upon reading this and reflecting the key ideas back to Altius Education, I was able to take a sigh of relief. Many of the suggestions made are already embedded in our teaching practice. But this does not mean we can simply discard this ideology as though we have already mastered it. As teachers and parents, we need to ensure that we are constantly on the lookout to provide opportunities for growth in the 21st Century.
At Altius Education, the teachers strive to ensure that in amongst the rigor of hard work and revision, skills such as collaboration, communication and problem solving are given just as much opportunity to develop as our students’ literacy and numeracy skills. In each session, students are given challenges that require them to think creatively and communicate their ideas with clarity and precision. We believe, like the World Economic Forum report suggests, that we must foster our children’s curiosity, and so we pose questions to them in which a simple Google Search will not recover the answer. In fact, it could be fair to say that without opportunities to develop these above ‘soft skills,’ the chance of success in tomorrow’s workplace is questionable. There is already an evident shift in the workforce with new roles leaning towards the need for greater social, critical and creative skills. And the research is predicting that this trend will only continue. So like us, we urge you to continue pursuing 21st Century skills’ development.
By ensuring that we are providing time in our lessons to the develop of 21st Century skills, we are hoping to help foster creativity and originality. We are aspiring to expand the communication and critical thinking skills of our students by asking them to clarify, question and consider. In addition to this, we also employ Thinker’s Routines as a means of guiding our students towards new levels of growth.
We encourage you to do the same. Complement the teaching of literacy and numeracy with that of the arts, sport and music. Involve them in co-curricular programmes that will engage and promote interpersonal relations and strengthen intrapersonal knowledge.
In conclusion, I love hearing small-group discussions take place in our rooms. It shows that our students are being challenged to be critical analysts, problem solvers and innovators in their work. It also shows that they are given the flexibility and freedom to think differently and to do so with purpose. This way, I know that we are doing our part to ensuring the 21st Century will be a successful one for our students.