Week 2

21 Jan

Let me start by saying that I did not like the look of the “21st Century Pedagogy” website. To me their website looked un-professional and honestly, ugly. I didn’t like the very bland look of the site or how it was organized, and I also found it hard to figure out where information was.

With that said onto this weeks blog!

Question 1: What do you think about each Web sites point of view?

I think the “Core Knowledge Foundation” and “Partnership for 21st Century Skills” (P21)  both had very interesting views on education. Their websites were also well organized and easy to navigate. Both websites were very clear on their purpose, clear on what information they think students are missing out on, and clear about what steps they believe should be taken to help improve our education system.

Something that I really liked was how P21’s stated that educational skills should be assessed, “A balance of assessments, including high-quality standardized testing, along with effective classroom assessments, offer students a powerful way to master the content and skills central to success.” Personally I am very against standardized testing and I do not believe it should be the only way to assess our students. I found it refreshing to explore a website that had creative and new ideas about education. P21 also states, “As much as students need to learn academic content, they also need to know how to keep learning — and make effective and innovative use of what they know — throughout their lives…” I thought this was a fantastic take on education! Much of education is based on memorization, especially since we use standardized testing, and memorizing information isn’t knowledge! It’s just being able to spit facts back out at someone when they ask you a question. Now do we want our students to know facts? Of course. But, we want them to know and understand the POINT of those facts. Think about this, a student is able to recall the dates of all the important battles of the Revolutionary War but they can’t tell you why the Colonists decided to go to war with England in the first place….is that real knowledge? In my opinion no. Just knowing the facts isn’t good enough, students need to be able to understand the facts and use them to make connections with the real world and life experiences. I think that is something that P21 is trying to do. They want students to know educational facts but they are also stressing the need for students to be able to develop skills that they can take with them into the real world so that they become productive members of society.

I think the philosophy of the Core Knowledge Foundation is great, “We believe that every person in a diverse democratic society deserves equal access to the common knowledge base that draws together its people, while recognizing our differing traditions and contributions. We believe that offering universal access to this shared knowledge is a primary duty of schooling, critical to literacy, and to the closing of the achievement gap between ethnic and racial groups. Most important of all, we believe that shared knowledge, a shared narrative, and shared ideals of liberty and tolerance are indispensable ingredients for effective citizenship and for the perpetuation of our democratic institutions.” I think it’s great that the foundation is fighting for educational equality for all students. The main purpose of the foundation is to make sure that all students get equal education and they they get the education they need to continue to build on their knowledge and education throughout the life of the student. While I do think 21st century skills are important I think many people get so caught up in the technology and the ways in which the world is changing that often we forget that we need to teach our students basic skills that they can build on. Without basic skills, like being able to read well, it will be very difficult for students to develop their 21st century skills and difficult for them to become successful world citizens.

How does what you read in each Web site change your view of how you should teach your subject area?

The Core Knowledge Foundation website didn’t change my view on how to teach my subject area, if anything it just re-enforced how much of an impact elementary school teachers have on their students. In elementary school is where many students are first taught how to read and write on their own and if teachers don’t help to develop those skills or does a poor job at developing them the student could struggle for a long time. Reading and writing are such basic skills that are needed for daily life. If anything the Core Knowledge Foundation stressed even more to me how much of an impact a teacher can have on a student and how important it is to be a good teacher.

P21 changed my view on how important it is for our students to learn new skills as well as their core skills. The world is a very diverse place and in order for our students to be successful in it they need to understand how other countries operate, how to work well with others, how to be respectful of others and their needs, how to critically think about issues and how to be able to work well with others to solve problems. Group work wasn’t stressed in my k-12th grade education I think because I wasn’t exposed to it at an early age is part of the reason I hate group work now. I mean I hate it, I much rather work alone than with other people but that just isn’t the way our society works anymore. P21 website helped me to realize that, helping me understand the positives to group work and that if I expose my students to it at younger ages they’ll develop skills that I never developed or didn’t develop until much later into my education.

 

References:

P21. (2011). Framework for 21st century learning. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/overview/skills-framework.

 

Common Core Foundation. (2013). Why knowledge matters. Retrieved from http://coreknowledge.org/about-the-curriculum.

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2 Responses

  1. Kim says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I agree with your thoughts on P21 and the importance of continued learning and learning beyond the facts. Memorization needs to be minimized as much as possible with a focus on the students gaining understanding as related to higher level thinking. For me, I believe the power of P21 is in implementing the 4Cs into your classroom teaching.

    Thanks, Kim

  2. Cassandra Trumbetic says:

    I agree with your viewpoint that the Core Knowledge website stressed how important teachers are in the role of education especially in the early years of education. Also, I agree with your statement about the unprofessional look of the P21 website. I thought it looked basic. Even more so when they claim they have some many donars that contribute to P21’s cause. I think we both like the Core Knowledge Foundation because they seem to have a better grasp on what it is like to be a teacher in the classroom. Great Post!

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