Monday, 20 February 2012

21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn

21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn by James Bellanca

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this anthology of essays more for professional reasons than personal, ergo the three-star review. The ideas are interesting and thoughtful, but not earth-shattering or provocative.

I'm presently looking at how teachers can create plagiarism-proof assignments and engage students more deeply in learning. Howard Gardner's "Five Minds for the Future" and John Barell's "Problem-based Learning: The Foundation for 21st Century Skills" addressed my concerns most closely, although I found that "Designing New Learning Environments" by Bob Pearlman will be useful to consult with when I am able to redesign my library. For example, he quotes, "Classrooms are out! No more classrooms!" Perhaps the whole school will turn into a learning commons. As well, there will be other essays I will be returning to: "Technology Rich, Information Poor", "Navigating Social Networks as Learning Tools" and "Leadership, Change, and Beyond the 21st Century Skills Agenda". It is a huge collection, and I'm sure there are other issues and ideas to feed the questions of other readers.

The essays are American-centric, but the concepts can be modified and applied to Canadian schools.

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