Tuesday, 18 November 2014

What 21st Century Education Means to Me

Over the last several years, I have engaged in some professional dialogue and at times heated conversations regarding what education should look like.  More often than not I have pointed to the remarkable amount of change our world and society has seen over the last 200 years, yet how little the education system has changed.  As I enjoy this installment of the #peel21st blog hop, I am looking forward to seeing what learning should look like today.  Please don't forget to check out the other blog posts found at the bottom of this post.

Education needs to be about students and teachers being:

Teacher as:

Context maker,creator,  knowledge interrogator, skill coach.

Student as:

Content maker, creator, knowledge inventor, skill development driven. 


Through a co-learning approach where we synthesize and evaluate ideas  in order to create new information and new ideas.   

We become change makers as we discover connections between ideas, available content and people.  We are living the words of Alvin Toffler  - we learn, unlearn and relearn.  

We need to make:

A shift to real world experiences, where we engage in project based learning in both face-to-face and virtual environments to make connections between new ideas and connections with each other. Through this interaction, we will find relations between things we have tried too long to keep apart. These projects, connections and relations need to be grounded in a framework of critical thought that allows us to synthesize and evaluate the new information before us. 

That's it, that's all...I wrote this whole post without saying 21st Century or technology! Oh darn I just did!

Other blogs involved in this blog hop:

Susan Campo – http://susancampo.ca
Josh Crozier - http://joshcrozieredu.wordpress.com/
Jim Cash – http://makelearn.org
Shivonne Lewis-Young – http://slewisyoung.wordpress.com
Greg, Pearson – http://leaderinadigitalworld.blogspot.ca
Phil Young – http://sphillipyoung.wordpress.com
James Nunes – http://joyousteaching.blogspot.ca
Donald, Campbell – http://ateachingyear.wordpress.com
Ken Dewar – https://mysite.peelschools.org/personal/P0031112/Blog/default.aspx
Graham Whisen – http://ideaconnect.edublogs.org/
Heather Lye – http://teachinginspiraXons.blogspot.ca/
Lynn Filliter – http://assessmentgeek.edublogs.org
Debbie Axiak – http://debbieaxiak.blogspot.ca
Alicia Quennell – http://aliciaquennell.blogspot.ca/
Jonathan So – http://www.Mrsoclassroom.blogspot.ca
Jim Blackwood – http://jimmyblackwood.wordpress.com
Jason Richea – http://beyondangrybirds.blogspot.ca/
Tina Zita – http://misszita.wordpress.com
Heather Lye @MsHLye
Engy Boutros @mrsboutros
George Couros @gcouros


  1. I like the way you sum up Alvin Toffler in your post. Sometimes it takes a shift in thinking to have the understanding that students can be content creators. I still struggle with keeping the content focused and joined into a narrative that is a year long. Trying to take these pieces of content and stringing them together to make a coherent year that doesn't feel disjointed.

  2. I think I will have to steal/borrow the following line when describing my responsibilities: "Context maker, creator, knowledge interrogator, skill coach." Amazing!

    1. I too like this descriptor of our job. This has been the most revolutionary change in my teaching, "giving control to the students". Now its not control in the sense that they run a muck but control that they are responsible for their learning. As a teacher our job is to create that context, question their learning, and help them move a long a trajectory of learning. Thanks for the post Greg.

  3. Greg, a shift/change in mindset, like math it is something that we can all do.

  4. The concept of the "Maker" is such a powerful one in our throw-away culture. It encourages students as agents of output as well as input. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Maker - that sums it up right there for me! Great post!