Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Framework for 21st Century Instruction

The past few weeks have been extremely busy for me. I've had several projects that I've been working on for my classes and one HUGE project that I've been working on outside of school. This project has required a considerable amount of my time as I've been doing quite a bit of research and writing. The topic of the writing is teaching in the 21st Century. Through all of the work I've developed a framework for what I think are the most important elements of teaching in the present day. So I'm putting it out here on the blog to see if I can get some feedback. Here's an explanation of the different elements:
  • Standards - As long as our education system is based on NCLB, every classroom activity must be based on state or national standards. Standards are not so bad in my opinion--they give me direction and eliminate any mystery about what it is I am supposed to teach.
  • Engagement - Teachers then must integrate into the activity ways to authentically engage students so that learning can take place beyond just a surface level. More often than not, this means meeting basic internal needs. Among these are the desire for success, belonging, and originality.
  • Assessment - Assessment is used for more than gauging student learning. By making students aware of the criteria for success, we can motivate them and support their learning. In other words, it’s not so much about how to assess (though I will talk about that), but more about how you can use assessment to engage students, support the growth of 21st Century skills, and meet state standards.
  • Instruction - To develop critical skills for future success, teachers must use teaching approaches that require active engagement on the parts of students—inquiry-based and project-based teaching. It is of paramount importance that this instruction involve the use of technology.
There is so much more to each of these that I will try to write about in the weeks ahead. I've been getting some good comments here so let me know what you think.

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Mr. Spraul said...

This is reminiscent of Tyler's model of evaluation, but I like your emphasis on student engagement and the needs of the individual learner. You mentioned not minding standards, but wonder the flexibility of models such as these for allowing unplanned outcomes.

Donna said...

Student Engagement is key. Have you read any of the Schlechty Center's work? Do an author search on Phil Schlechty. We are currently consulting with his nonprofit.

Bill said...

My personal feeling is that students will learn more and more by themselves. The current access to information to is just incredible. My favorite example is Polish site where students can find almost every exercise they are looking for.