There's a lot of talk these days about preparing students for life in the 21st century. These 21st century skills are like an elusive shadow. Talk of them is everywhere, just what they will be or what they will look like is unknown. For me, that mystery is one of the things that makes this a powerful and challenging time to be an educator. One of the questions that I have is "What will school look like?" or put another way "How will school be different to help students master the skills for the future" I would say that if you could snatch a teacher via time machine from the 1800s you could probably plop them into a school of today and apart from the scandalous dress, strange language ("What is the world is a "google" and why would I want to do it to someone?") and the shiny objects people gaze into at great length, they would recognize most everything about the place. We are trying to teach our students into the 21st century using a 19th century device; the public school system. Think about it, students come to school in the fall even though we've long since stopped needing extra child labor to bring in the crops. Teachers primarily use standardized text books and follow scripted lessons. Students when they misbehave are sent to the principals office and if they don't complete assignments they generally miss recess. I believe that my grandmother who taught in the middle of the last century could probably sub for me if I had that trusty time machine. In fact looking at a picture from one of her classes in the late 1940s I was struck by how similar it looked to my own classroom of today. And so I wonder, what will need to change, what will it look like?
I don't have the answers, I'm still working on the best questions to ask.
What do you think?