Lisa\’s Weblog

Twenty-first century learning in schools.
September 12, 2007, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Twenty-first century learning in schools.By Bob Pearlman. 

Link to article:  


There are a lot of changes which started to take place during the 1990’s according to Bob Pearlman. These included globalization and an increased role in technology in work and life. Learning in the 21st century includes information and communication skills, thinking and problem-solving skills, interpersonal and self-directional skills, and the skills to use twenty-first century tools such as information and communication technologies.

This article goes through how the government is planning to spend over 80 billion dollars in re building schools within America which are over 15years old and create a 21st century environment  which is able to inspire learning for decades to come. But to do this we need to know what the students want to learn and the skills they need for the 21st century. I think this is really important due to the fact that this is the future, technology is our future and if the future generations don’t know how to function within society and to keep up with the recent technological advancements then we wont be going anywhere and we will be trapped in the past.When thinking about preparing students for the 21st century we need to address a few important questions and Bob Pearlman asks these: 

• What learning curricula, activities, and experiences foster twenty-first century learning? 

• What assessments for learning, school based and national, foster student learning, engagement, and self-direction? 

• What physical learning environments (classroom, school, and real world) foster twenty-first century student learning?

 • How can technology support a twenty-first century collaborative learning environment and support a learning community?

Walk into a classroom at New Technology High School (NTHS)in Napa, California, and you will see students at work: writing journals online, doing research on the Internet, meeting in groups to plan and make their Web sites and their digital media presentations, and evaluating their peers for collaboration and presentation skills. Another teacher’s students may also be there in a team-taught interdisciplinary course. These activities have a name and a purpose.

This is called project-based learning, and it is designed to engage students in learning deeply.

 A simple strategy was planned out to tackle complex problems and will require critical thinking: 

• To learn collaboration, work in teams.

• To learn critical thinking, take on complex problems.

 To learn oral communication, present.

• To learn written communication, write.

• To learn technology, use technology.

• To develop citizenship, take on civic and global issues.

• To learn about careers, do internships.

• To learn content, research and do all of the above.  

 This strategy can be enforced if students can work on projects that are designed to extract collaboration, critical thinking, written communication, oral communication, work ethic, and other critical skills while simultaneously meeting state or national content standards.  

Bob Pearlman also goes through what a traditional classroom is like: 

·         They mainly work alone on non – complex tasks

·         They emphasize short term content memorization

·         Write for the teacher alone

·         And rarely work on group presentations  Project- and problem-based learning takes a different
1. Put students into teams of three or more students, who work
on an in-depth project for three to eight weeks.
2. Start the project by introducing a complex entry question, and
scaffold the project with activities and new information that
deepens the work.
3. Develop a time line for the project through plans, drafts, timely
benchmarks, and presentations by the team to an outside panel
of experts drawn from parents and the community.
4. Provide timely assessments to students on their projects for
content, oral communication, written communication, teamwork,
critical thinking, and other critical skills.


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