“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
design, develop, and implement
At the end of a school year one can look back on the process that dictates education in our public schools and from this retrospective position get a clear sense of the events that were brought forth and that fashioned the learning in the classroom.
Over the past decade business associates and education officials, I have been associated with, have been impressed with the increasing cultural diversity within our schools. In the 21st century, diversity has become central to what constitutes our public schools. Racial and ethnic diversity along with divergent social economics are critical factors determining culture within learning environments. Academic gains, in the new century, depend upon education professionals reconstructing the goals, means and ends that are empathetic to a changing world.
Today, this process of learning becomes a cluster of diverse procedures employed by educators around the acquisition and utilization of knowledge. Twenty-first century capabilities include the following: abilities to form evidence-based perception of situations, delivering effective communication skills, loving and supporting peers, implementing critical decision-making abilities, effective problem-solving skills, perform creative innovative thought and support and uphold values that define our democratic institutions. Education professionals, working to make our learning institutions viable into the future, must cast a weary eye upon existing avenues or entrenched methods to deliver this opportunity to learn. If learning is at the core or what schools are all about, then a restructuring of how we deliver learning opportunities must be addressed.
Teaching students to learn how to learn are achievable goals for students in classrooms, while capitalizing upon cultural diversity of student populations. The structure of learning institutions, like our schools, need to lend well to the development of these 21st century abilities by students. Project-based models in learning bring maximum flexibility to this effort of moving forward with instructional priorities. Open-ended process orientated curriculum (Project-based models of learning) is readily adaptable to these diverse student populations. Being adaptable to alternative settings, brought about by open-ended curriculum models, will motivate and engage students in more divergent means. It will lead to creating learning environments that promote utilizing prior knowledge and experience in ways to help solve problems and lead to greater understanding.
Getting tools for decision-making into the hands of students is fundamental to developing, redesigning and implementing learning experiences that are experimental and linked closely to the needs of local communities and society at large. To put real value back into learning experiences is to design schools where students can help to fulfill the needs and provide support for members of their community. Student will begin to see their influence and how they can support both the cultural aspects and situational needs of the world they live in.
Each new school year provides new opportunities for educators to become more dynamic in their thinking of how to get students to achieve these 21st century skills and abilities that will be so important for success in their lives. Reflecting now on what has been done is a good starting point to help eventually bring real change to our schools by making them more student-centered, supportive and academically viable for all of our children.