A New Method for a New Century
The world is always changing, from the environment to the economy, from stock
market crashes to global warming. With so many uncertainties, one thing remains absolute: students will not be prepared to face the challenges presented by today’s changing world if the schools’ methods of education remain the same. The concept of the integration of 21st century skills into school curriculums has been an ongoing debate for some time now. While opponents argue that such skills should not replace the current system, which focuses primarily on the memorization of content, proponents defend their contemporary methods, advocating 21st century skills and the importance of their understanding in the fastpaced, mediacentric society that exists today. Both arguments, however, are supported with valid facts, many of which cannot be ignored. Because of the benefits of both methods of learning, a General Education class emphasizing the understanding and integration of 21st century skills in the work force and other environments should be required for all students at College of the Canyons in order to strengthen their abilities and create a fundamental base that will help prepare them to enter the workforce.
Schools cannot ignore the fact that the very next step for the vast majority of students
following the completion of their education is the securing of a job in a career field that functions in the modern world. In such a competitive workforce, students cannot be successful if the education they received focuses solely on the memorization of content rather than the application of skills. What good is an extensive grasp of facts if nothing can be done with that knowledge? "We need to ensure that all students are critical thinkers and problem solvers, that students can take on complex problems," said Paige Johnson, a P21 board member and worldwide manager for K12 education at Intel Corp. This is where the benefits of 21st century skills come in. Such skills include learning and innovation skills, information, media and technology skills, life and career skills, and an all around indispensable foundation students will be able to employ into their lives following school. Where the heavy dependence of memorizing facts usually ends after one exits the school system, the need to understand and the ability to integrate 21st century skills only increases significantly.
Thirteen states have already begun to incorporate 21st century skills into their
education system in different ways, such as Wisconsin, which has "overhauled its social studies curriculum in order to meet the criteria established by P21." As more begin to realize the importance of 21st century skills, College of the Canyons should follow in the footsteps of those who have broadened the content of education taught at their schools. Such skills should begin to be integrated into core classes, but to ensure that the fullest potentials of students learning these skills can be met, a General Education class focused entirely on the utilization and understanding of 21st century skills should be added as a
requirement for all students. This will ensure that students will not only master the content of their classes, but will be able to produce, evaluate, and synthesize the information they have learned in order to prepare themselves for their futures. Students would be able to experience hands on activities and learn to thrive in a modern work environment through interactive projects and the like, of which will sharpen skills ranging from communicative to technological.
Opponents are firmly grounded to the belief that older methods of learning are
essential to a student's education. Richard Allington, a professor at the University of ...
Cited: Casto, Michelle L. "Top 10 Skills for New World of Work." Streetdirectory.com.
Streetdirectory.com, n.d. Web. 19 July 2014.
Devaney, Laura. "21stcentury Skills Movement Grows." 21stcentury Skills Movement.
eSchool News, 22 June 2009. Web. 19 July 2014.
"How Do You Define 21stCentury Learning?" Education Week Teacher Professional
Development Sourcebook. Education Week, 11 Oct. 2010. Web. 19 July 2014.
"Teaching 21stCentury Skills." Issues and Controversies on File. (7 Aug. 2009): n.pag.
Issues and Controversies. Web. 19 July 2014.
"The EcoRise Blog." The Real Value of Teaching 21st Century Skills. EcoRise, n.d.
Web. 19 July 2014.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document