Wednesday, July 05, 2006

21st -Century Skills & High School Reform

My first session of NECC is on the 21st Century Skills partnership. At the Friday Institute we are very involved with the partnership. We had the opportunity to meet a few of the key players a few weeks ago. I am also on a team that will be doing some workshops in the Eastern part of NC in conjunction with the partnership.

21st Cent Skills are highly focused on the partnership between business and education.

I like their critical need for skills:
1) Need our students to be effective 21st cent citizens
2) The world is flat (I feel like this is the #1 buzzword and a must for all presentations lately)
3) US is falling behind - we are 7th in math & problem solving (Japan is first)
4) The magnitude of our competition is changing - looking at skilled workers
5) The nature of work is changing - we are changing jobs and the jobs that we are in change. I once heard that it didn't matter what you received a degree in, what counted was that you had survived college and that is what made the difference (although that could be my Dad just trying to get me to graduate )

How many jobs will you have between 18 & 38? 10.2 - I certainly feel that. I have had four jobs in 7 years, and that is considered normal.

What is the framework? Why does the model change?
They've added the following to core subjects (from NCLB):
Life Skills (Personal Skills)
21st Century Content
Learning & Thinking Skills
ICT Literacy (information and communications ) NOT Tech competency - using it effectively, making it an actual TOOL!

What do schools needs to do?
-Professional Development - specifically for 21st Cent Skills
-Identifying mentors
-Use a full range of assessments
-Use senior year projects and student portfolios

The focus of 21st Cent Skills is very focused on thinking, problem solving and communicating. How we assess and evaluate that is going to be the biggest challenge.

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