This afternoon’s DEANZ Conference keynote was delivered virtually via video link from Tuscon, Arizona – truly modelling distance learning. Ken Kay from EdLeader21 gave a presentation entitled The 7 steps to become a 21st century school. There is much that tertiary education can learn from the schooling sector and these ideas easily apply to all levels of learning – we all face the same challenges.
What is 21st century education?
We’re already 12 years into the 21st century, but it seems like we are still trying to define what education in this century is all about. Ken pointed us to a framework on the P21 website. He talked about blending the 3Rs with the 4Cs: critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. These are otherwise known as student outcomes, or attributes that students should aspire to, and these also need to be demonstrated by teachers as models for effective pedagogy. The 4Cs very much reflect the key competencies that support the New Zealand Curriculum.
What are the 7 steps for implementation?
Embracing the 4Cs in principle or rhetorically is not enough to make them work. This is where an implementation strategy is necessary and Ken introduced the 7 steps model before unpacking each step in detail.
Ken challenged us to go home and complete the MILE Guide self assessment survey and find out which elements of our practice are from the 19th, 20th or 21st century. Gulp!
I was interested to hear Ken’s thoughts about how professionals should be using the 4Cs in their own practice (and not just for teaching students). He argues that the 4Cs can and should be used as a measure for hiring, compensation, evaluation and promotion.
Ken concluded his virtual keynote by sharing a video called The 4Cs: Making 21st century learning happen, featuring student and teacher voices.