Misinterpretation of '21st Century Skills'

21st Century Skills

It means something. But what? For those that haven't had time to explore the phrase's meaning, the specifics are slippery. Even Harvard Scholars use the term tentatively (in quotes-see page 24).

Consider 21st Century Skills a 'flavor'. A flavor that spices up, updates and globalizes the Educational Landscape. However, I have heard some interesting takes on '21st Century Learning' lately. Interesting and disconcerting. I have heard a version of this more than once in recent months:

"21st Century Skills! I do that! It's just a new name for what we've always done. Collaborate and Communicate. I communicate objectives all the time....." Then I think (but don't say) "Uh Oh".

Yes, Collaboration and Communication are 2 of the '4 c's' identified as a part of 21st Century Skills. (The others are Critical Thinking and Creativity). 21st Century Skills demand more though. 21st Century Skills demands an expanded definition of Literacy. One that 'doesn’t merely refer to the ability to read and write but also the ability to evaluate and synthesize information, media, and other technology.' (-Ted Lai )

Creating and Connecting to the real world outside of school is a big implication of 21st Century Skills as well. Underlying this, though, is the implication of 21st Century Skills that the creating and connecting is done using technological tools and apps.

21st Century Skills is not old wine in new bottles. 21st Century Skills is a whole new vineyard.

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1 comment :

A.Writer said...

Good point! I think due to the vastness of 21st century skills, they are absolutely not just the old recipe in a new can…it’s a new formula. I feel that you can’t simply accomplish the same tasks using the tools available today, you need to find entirely new projects to create with those tools.