Below is a recent news clip about a LCMS School in Seattle, Washington that is doing some fascinating things with experiential learning, project-based learning, textbook-less teaching and learning, and a one-to-one laptop initiative.
Just as we near the start of the 2011 Online Conference on Lutheran education, I am excited to announce the start of a new blog dedicated to Research in Lutheran Education. Or, you can follow the blog through the Twitter feed, ResearchLuthEd.
The Program for International Student Assessment recently published the latest international rankings of student performance. Learn more by viewing the brief video below and the reading the full results here. This is timely as we think about getting specific and practical when it comes to 21st century learning. Note that this assessment focuses upon the abilities of students to apply their knowledge to new situations. In other words, it is really looking at school systems that are preparing students of deep learning…for higher level thinking skills.
What do students need to know, value, and be able to do in order to survive and thrive in a 21st century world? As you reflect upon that question as an individual educator or as a school, consider the answers that a number of individuals have proposed. Below is a presentation that I recently shared with a great group of Lutheran educators in the St. Louis area. It outlines some of the knowledge and skills that various authors and organisations contend are important for 21st century life. Consider using this as a discussion starter with your faculty.
If this interests you, then you may want to consider attending and/or presenting at the Online Conference on 21st Century Lutheran Education.
What is 21st century learning anyway? It depends upon who you ask. However, in the most general terms, 21st century Lutheran education is anything that is devoted to equipping students for faith, life, and learning in a 21st century world. With this said, it is sometimes helpful to divide 21st century Lutheran education into three categories:
1) The “how” of 21st century learning – This is focused upon changing strategies for teaching and learning. It often directs our attention to the power and potential of current and emerging technologies in the classroom and other learning environments. Or, it may even call us to provide learners with more low tech and unplugged learning experiences in order to give them a measure of balance in a technology-rich contemporary world.
2) The “what” of 21st century learning – This asks and seeks to answer the question, “What do students need to know, value, and be able to do in order to survive and thrive in a 21st century world?” For Lutheran education, we also examine the spiritual and ethical issues related to this question. Notice that this is really about re-examining the learning objectives, content…the curriculum in our learning organizations. It challenges us to reconsider these things in view of the digital revolution, the information revolution, the changing work place, changes in local and global communities, and much more. From a Lutheran education standpoint, we contend that some content will not and should not ever change, that we teach certain timeless Truth. At the same time, as 21st Century Lutheran schools, we recognize that some things do need to change. An example is the notion of literacy and fluency. At certain times in history, one level of literacy was adequate, but people in the 21st century work force are expected to demonstrate new forms of literacy (reading and writing hypertext, multimedia, visuals, and dealing with unprecedented amounts of information).
3) The “when” and “where” of 21st Century learning – When you ask many people what comes to mind when then think of Lutheran education, they may describe a Lutheran school classroom. However, learning in the 21st century (as it has always been) is about more than schooling. Learning isn’t limited by the walls of a classroom or school building. And, it isn’t even bound by traditional school days and school years. Life in the 21st century world opens our eyes to a litany of options and possibilities when it comes to the “when” and “where” of Lutheran education.
Does this catch your interest? Consider presenting at and/or attending the Online Conference on 21st Century Lutheran Education.
This blog is dedicated to sparking your thought and interest in excellence and innovation in 21st Century Lutheran Education (not to mention the 21CLE conference). We will also use this as yet one more place to keep you posted about 21CLE conference-related events.