Sunday, 26 May 2013

What does a 21st Century Classroom look like?

Last week I attended the first Educafe being run in Auckland, New Zealand by Emma Winder.  This is where people get together to discuss educational issues in a particular format whereby everyone sits at  'cafe' style tables and there is a 'summariser' at each table.  You are given fifteen minutes to talk about a particular issue/question, brainstorming on paper and when the music goes, you go off to another table but the designated summariser stays behind, summarising what was discussed to the new people that arrive.  Then the same thing repeats itself.

A wide variety of people attended from Board of Trustees, Primary and Secondary educators.

The the poignant question discussed was:

We know there is a need for us to change our teaching for the 21st century, we know why this is, we’re working towards it,
BUT what does 21st century teaching and learning actually look like in practice?
It was great to get the different perspectives, particularly from a secondary level.  I'm going to focus on one idea that really clicked for me.
The importance of the  New Zealand Curriculum Key Competencies was a common thread amongst the discussions and noted as an essential part of the today's classroom, particularly thinking of future jobs (
The five key competencies are Thinking, Using Language, Symbols and Text, Managing Self, Relating to Others, Participating and Contributing.

Glen Taylor school from West Auckland mentioned how often schools do a blanket coverage of a key competency where one key competency for a week is focussed on, however each child at their school has a key competency as a goal that they need to work on.  Love this personalised learning.  So when a learning area is discussed, the children are reminded of their own key competency goal to focus on within this task.  

I think that a vital part of this will also be getting the children to reflect on the progress in their key competency.  I will certainly be trying this with teachers.

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