Saw this recent piece in Ed Week, “Hybrid Home Schools Gaining Traction”, highlighting a trend which may turn out to be the new emerging norm for education as we get deeper into this new century. Stated simply using an environmental metaphor, the current “monoculture” of full-time year-round instructional school attendance may be gradually supplanted by perhaps a richer “polyculture” including an array of learning experiences – some classes, some self-study, some collaborative work, and more real-life experience.
A recent Ed Week online article, “How Do You Define 21st Century Learning”, featured the thoughts of eleven people connected to the US education establishment as teachers, consultants or educrats. I was intrigued how each would frame this topic, relative to my own framing as a parent and more of a many educational paths (including unschooling) advocate. (FYI… to see my own thoughts on this topic click here.)
Here is the article author’s framing of the question…
The term “21st-century skills” is generally used to refer to certain core competencies such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving that advocates believe schools need to teach to help students thrive in today’s world. In a broader sense, however, the idea of what learning in the 21st century should look like is open to interpretation — and controversy.
I just went through the last week or so of on-line featured articles from the on-line EdWeek edition of Education Week magazine and the Public Education Network. Looking at the state of the US institution of public education for youth from a parent’s point of view, it seems like there is still a fair amount of (to use some nautical metaphors) rearranging deck-chairs and still hoping that the water gushing into those holes in the hull being ripped open by that iceberg can be somehow contained to keep the ship afloat.
This is a very long post and kind of goes on and on trying to paint a snapshot of the public education gestalt in the US right now before I try to end on a very hopeful note.
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