During this week, I am attending Solution Tree’s “21st C. Learning Summit” in Chicago. So far, we have heard from Ken Kay of P21, Rick DuFour (one of my main heroes)of PLCs, and Chris Dede of Harvard and “immersive learning.”
Ken Kay’s message, in my own words, is that we need to blend the 3Rs (reading, writing, and arithmetic) with the 4 Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) to facilitate interconnected content and skill development for students in the 21st C.
Rick Dufour made the case that we can only get to Ken Kay’s vision if we have a plan for teacher learning – professional learning communities that provide workplace learning everyday instead of workshop learning a few times a year. The evidence of PLC effectiveness is convincing and compelling. We just need to do what we know works! Learning must be the focus, collaboration must be the culture, and results must direct our course. Four Qs should guide us…1) what should students learn? 2) How will we now that they have learned? 3) What will we do when they don’t learn? 4) What will we do when they already know it. We teachers should model the four Cs in the way we work…modeling is a powerful teacher for students.
Chris Dede spoke of distributed education – a system that extends beyond the school in space, time, and people. And learning should happen through collaborative problem resolution via mediated interaction. We should help students with real life by making learning less segmented and more integrated through projects, situated learning, and immersive learning. Furthermore, good formative and diagnostic assessment could replace summative assessment as we scale effective assessment of skills and content in context.