Teaching for the 21st Century

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Assignment 1 16/3/2012

A new era has dawned in world order. The current world order is ‘global’ rather than ‘international’; we are increasingly becoming a world without borders (Suter 2005, p.71). The opening up of countries both politically and economically has driven the process of globalization and a key facilitator of it all has been the revolution in information technology. With the big picture in mind it should be the goal of our education system, as the national organisation: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills promotes, “to ensure that students who graduate from our schools have the skills needed to be effective workers, citizens, and leaders in the new global economy.” (Shelly, Gunter & Gunter, p.14) As teachers, we need to facilitate high quality learning and to do this, we need to move beyond the walls of our classroom through the use of current and emerging technologies, to develop the necessary skills our students will need as they graduate from their school environment. The reality of the way in which we live and work in our rapidly changing, technology rich world demands far more than the skills traditionally taught in our education system. While it can be argued that the many and varied skills students need in the 21st century are not necessarily new, it can be argued that, as Rotherham & Willingham pointed out, “ the extent to which changes in our economy and the world mean that collective and individual success depends on having such skills”. (Rotterham & Willingham, p.16) The primary goal of the national organisation, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, is to assist educators to integrate such skills into traditional core subject areas to strengthen the system as a whole. (Partnership, p.2) Through developing digital literacy, The Partnership identifies the two main categories of skills as being: Learning & Innovation and Career & Life. (Shelly, Gunter...