16 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2009 2:50 PM by pkjohn1

    Tell a reporter what you think- 21st C Skills from the trenches

      Tomorrow Jay Matthews of the Washington Post is going to put a blog up that states that he thinks the 21st Century skills movement lacks rigor and relevance. He is specifically panning Charles Fadel and Bernie's Trillings book on 21st Century skills. I saw an advanced draft of this article and I think he is way off base on several point. I intend to post a response to his blog. Care to join me? (Tomorrow if you google Jay Matthews of the Washington Post it will take you directly to the link)

      Paige

        • Re: Tell a reporter what you think- 21st C Skills from the trenches
          blancaedu

          Thanks for posting Paige. I'm setting my alarm to make sure I have a chance to respond.

          • Re: Tell a reporter what you think- 21st C Skills from the trenches
            NaomiHarm

            Thanks Paige for the heads up on this issue.  You know, I have a voice, and will let the world know my viewpoint, experience and immediate insight on this issue.  I too am a 21st Century Partnership affiliate, and attended the Partnership for 21st Century Learning in Chicago this summer, and this was one of the best experiences I could have attended (besides the Intel Education Summits) to network with "like minds" to share our viewpoints and experiences on 21st skills and a true collaborative shared vision from educational leaders from around the USA.

             

            Naomi Harm

            • Re: Tell a reporter what you think- 21st C Skills from the trenches
              glen_w

              Paige,

               

              This is great news. I wish I'd seen it last night to be able to respond. I visited the blog site and noted there seems to be a majority of people who have challenged the idea of "21st Century Skills" and how or why these should be taught. It almost seems like these respondents want education to be about learning material that is easily tested. If I was in this type of classroom I'm afraid there would be a lot of book work, paper assignments, and bubble tests. In my classroom, I've found many of students engage in their learning and commenting that they wish they could use technology to show understanding. I do not see Technology nor 21st Century Skills as replacing teachers, curriculum, or standards. Rather, I think these should be considered as part of a students learning process. They should not be separate part of a child's education.

              • Re: Tell a reporter what you think- 21st C Skills from the trenches
                tdiener

                Thanks Paige - I went to the blog and read the post, interesting replies. I read a few of his other posts too. When I "Googled" Jay Mathews, I saw that Will Richardson responded to another Matthew's 21st Century Skills posts back in January. Is this frequent subject for him? Can anyone give me a quick "crash course" Jay Matthews?

                  • Re: Tell a reporter what you think- 21st C Skills from the trenches

                    Jay has been skeptical of the movement and of P21 in particular. He gave the organization feedback that we should be creating more specific resources to help educators (fair feedback). So Charles and Bernie took time off from their real jobs to write this book. And then he came back with this critique- which leads me to believe that he really just doesnt like the term and he thinks that lots of teachers are doing project based learning - and there is no need for advocacy of standards, assessment and funding to support development of student skills. Mostly, I think he is out of touch with what is really happening to the average kid in the average school in the US.  I doubt he will change his mind- but strong posts from teachers will at least give his readers a more balanced view on the topic. BTW- I posted a response which he did not publish- so he is cherry picking what gets through his screening process.

                    Paige

                  • Re: Tell a reporter what you think- 21st C Skills from the trenches
                    NaomiHarm

                    Good Morning Everyone,

                     

                    I just had an opportunity this AM to respond to the Washington Post noted earlier from Paige's request.  As many of you know, I am a very passionate writer and I reflect and I write with my whole heart.  So when Paige first noted this post, I read her response- then read the Washington Post article- and then I somewhat took the article personally, but had to step back to process the written text, which appeared to be a one sided argument.  I took it to heart that it appeared as if this reporter was missing the "bigger picture" of 21st century skills and the book Charles and Bernie wrote.  Throughout the weekend I ordered the book, and read through all the excerpts of the book. http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/ and http://www.21stcenturyskillsbook.com/index.php and http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/sept09/vol67/num01/21st_Century_Skills@_The_Challenges_Ahead.aspx and  I searched online to gain background knowledge on the reporter himself, and also referred to Tom's mention of Will Richards reflection piece and his spin on this as well.  I needed to have facts present in order to respond in an educated manner, because as we all know- there is never two sides to a story- there are most likely three or four :-)

                     

                    I greatly appreciated Glen's reflection on the post too, which assisted me in crafting my own reflection based on my evidence I found- and another "well respected" educators viewpoint- thank you Glen :-) I agree, it is always best to state key factual information or insight from a global perspective when addressing individuals that have very "tunnel vision".  And I could see that the columnist appeared to have they syndrome of tunnel vision, and perhaps I needed to rent a crane for him- to dig him out from his short sightedness.  After realizing I do not have extra money to rent a crane for him, I did the next best thing with writing a reflection to paint the bigger picture for him, without belittling his perspective on 21st century skills.

                     

                    I truly appreciate the differences and perspectives of others, and still can gain great appreciation from one's thoughts, written words, or insights even if I do not agree with them.  That's the beauty of our world- it is truly amazing how our power of voice and written words can persuade, change and make a difference with others.  Some of us are meant to be vocal leaders by sharing our first hand experiences and accounts through voice, and some of us are meant to be quiet- but trusted bystanders that lead my their physical presence.  Either way, a well rounded balance of both leadership roles can make change so we are part of the bigger picture as a collaborative team- yes- we are all agents of change in our own way.

                     

                    Have a great week everyone!

                     

                    Naomi

                     

                    Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
                    Malcolm X (1925 - 1965)