21st Century School

10 May

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In many of our documents we are encouraged as teachers and leaders to be lifelong learners. It is known as the 21st century school model. This term is one that is worth debating but that is for another week and another blog.

Does it really surprise any education professionals to read how online technology has not helped people to become lifelong learners? And how the childhood experiences about learning and education are the most significant predictors for the future interest in learning?

“Learning in later life appears to be primarily linked to positive attitudes to education that are usually formed during compulsory schooling. This means that young people who experienced early educational failure or felt alienated by the school system are very unlikely to participate in education as adults regardless of the opportunities available or potential benefits.” says Dr. Patrick White.

Don’t get me wrong. I love (learning) technology, and am hopelessly hooked to my computer and iDevice. Not a night goes by when I don’t catch up with my PLN on Twitter. What worries me, though, is how different gadgets or software programs are presented as the ultimate answer for fixing education and mending the problem of falling grades and detached students. Technology is just a tool – how we use it makes all the difference. This is a real soapbox of mine.

Providing meaningful learning experiences for students takes the power struggle away from classrooms. This can be done with or without the technology. Sometimes it doesn’t help to have a fancy building with all the latest gadgets in every classroom if I don’t have teachers. But having my teachers willing to make learning a meaningful experience for students my school would be operational even without classrooms or any equipment. Teaching IS a contact sport. Learning IS a contact sport. Sometimes my students forget this also.

If we wish to foster lifelong learning our students must be involved with worthwhile activities so that they can find learning interesting and rewarding. The negative attitude is the biggest challenge for lifelong learning. Empowering students to use their thinking skills (with or without technology) caters for positive approaches to learning. This is already a recognized and valid practice in Early Childhood Education where I notice my daughter with her friends recognize play is an important way for making learning an adventure student wants to repeat.

Source: Information superhighway ‘bypassing adult learners’ — new study

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One Response to “21st Century School”

  1. encarnallamas June 5, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Reblogged this on encarnallamas.

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