Wednesday, 15 September 2010

C21 = Thinking + Global + tech?

As I cycled to school with my oldest 2 children today, an autumn chill spread from the handlebars, along my fingertips and up to my knuckles. I would have paid good money for that cool feeling three months ago when I was still in Bangkok, teaching at a large international school.

The new term is well upon us and with it a fresh chance to ponder on what it is all about. I started a group for teachers of children aged 5-11 on curriculum 21 and am emailed when new members join. I keep having to ask myself
"Does C21 just means adding a sprinkling of technology to the recipe of education?"
"Is it really about setting up videoconferencing?"
"Does it mean having a blog and a wiki?"
The easy answer, I suppose, is that any education which prepares children for the future could be said to follow the underlying principles of C21.
"Can the learning process be future proofed though?"
With the pace of change, mastering a particular technology is vital, but of secondary importance to the acquisition of the generic learning skills, using whichever current technologies which are available and are the best for the job. Thinking skills, or Habits of mind, might be a suitable framework.
Art Costa talks about sharing the vision as an essential part of developing Thinking skills, during his NGFL Cymru GCaD address. He is referring to the school wide discussion of shared language concepts and progression which must take place if Habits of Mind are to take firm root in a school. He compares the light from a laser which all travels in the same direction, with the diffused light from a ceiling light.

So, in order to start travelling in the same direction we need to have a shared understanding of terminology. Curriculum21 is a rich multifaceted concept which needs unpicking.

Here's a brief, bald and sketchy starting point.

C21 = Thinking skills + Global + tech

Please add your own C21 equations.