Depending on who you are, 21st Century Learning may be learning with technology, learning with rigor and relevance, learning to communicate, learning about our place in the global marketplace, learning about health, learning about our civic responsibilities, learning to think critically and creatively, learning to master our core subjects, learning life and career skills and learning to be good leaders.
21st Century Learning is all these things and more. It is a set of skills. But more than that, 21st Century Learning is a philosophy of learning that says “I do not exist in a vacuum. In addition to knowledge and understanding of my academic subjects, I need to be able to communicate, interact with others, and work in tandem with other people and other cultures to create a common good.”
In essence, 21st Century Learning is a holistic approach to learning and teaching that encompasses every aspect of an individual, from his personal health to his depth of knowledge to his environment.
One of the best places to learn about this holistic approach to learning is through the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (www.21stcenturyskills.org) In our lead article, President ken kay of the Partnership suggests that building a 21st Century education system is a social imperative. Be sure and read his article. I’m betting you’ll agree.
In The SEEN Interview this issue we spoke with Darryl Rosser. Darryl is CEO of Sagus International, one of the nation’s leading suppliers of school furnishings. Not long ago, Darryl heard a speech by President Obama. In this speech, the president read a letter from a student of JV Martin Middle School in Dillon, SC. In the letter, the student decried her school’s deplorable conditions. Darryl traveled to Dillon to see the conditions for himself. He was so moved by what he saw that he gathered some of his suppliers and dealers and donated $250,000 in furnishings – and installed it all over a weekend. The students came back to see a completely transformed school. Since that time, Darryl has been on a mission to transform our nation’s schools into shining beacons of 21st Century Learning. In a recent conversation with Darryl, he stressed the importance of public and private stakeholders coming together with conviction and a sense of urgency to get this done. After my conversation, I absolutely believe it will happen.
Now that winter is here, I find myself already looking forward to spring. There is something about leaving for work in the darkness and getting home when it is dark that I find disconcerting. Maybe it is the lack of vitamin D talking, but I really dig the sun. I’m also looking forward to the spring because we will feature our Learning in the Global Economy issue. In this issue, we’ll examine our country’s place in global education and provide answers to one of our most perplexing questions: How can our country stay competitive over the next 100 years? It’s heady stuff, and to be sure, one of the most important subjects we’ve ever tackled. Like to contribute? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at [email protected] or call me at 704568-7804.
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