A critical reflection on future trends and their implications on practice (Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M., 2001).
Easy sharing of digital information, contributing to increased migration, has resulted in rapidly changing “ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity” (OECD, 2016) in our learning communities. The challenge is to integrate migrants while maintaining both their unique identities, and ours.
Global challenges like ‘erratic weather patterns, overfishing and conflict’ (OECD, 2016) affect all of humanity, but unifying efforts of global collaboration and problem-solving are evolving as ideas are shared among concerned global citizens.
Education practises devised for the industrial age are now outdated in our knowledge based economy and to remain relevant, educators need to lift NZ's low attainment levels (Buckley, (KPMG), 2015) by developing young people skilled in creativity, innovation and complex problem solving. The value for global languages, advanced digital skills, and social and emotional intelligence also needs to be recognised.
Language trends depicted in Figures 1 & 2, are addressed at my school by offering Chinese and Maori from K-6, then French, Spanish and Japanese from Y7-13. The staff is culturally diverse with most global ethnicities represented.
|Figure 1. Top Native Languages (The Washington Post (2015)|
|Figure 2. Most Common Second Languages (The Washington Post (2015)|
Being a K-6 Visual Art and Digital Media specialist, I am continually investigating global teaching trends in these areas and note strong links to skills identified by Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2007). This has lead me to developing a choice-based programme that is “flexible and reduces barriers to learning while setting high expectations for students.” (National Centre on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), 2009).
|Figure 3. Framework for 21st Century Learning (P21, 2007)|
In student-directed, choice-based art learning environments, children learn to identify problem, are encouraged to inquire and that leads to insights and conceptual understandings (Gaspardi, 2012). Whether it’s the 5 year old figuring out how to develop friendships or the 10 year old unpacking the dilemma between animal poaching and their ancient cultural beliefs about medicine, it’s the personal connections that drives their response to - How can I communicate ideas I feel passionately about, clearly and effectively to my audience, through a medium of my choosing?
We already know that students come from different places and learn at different rates, which makes differentiation essential. All voices, ideas and problems should be heard equally, yet answered differently (valued), resulting in positive mental well-being.
National Centre on Universal Design for learning, 2009)
“The goal of education in the 21st century is the mastery of the learning process.” (UDL, 2012). UDL’s 3 learning guidelines aim to develop learners that are:
1. Resourceful & knowledgeable
2. Strategic & goal-directed
3. Purposeful & motivated.
And Speicher's (2009) wrote 10 Tips For Creating a 21st–Century Classroom Experience in IDEO, including:
Create from relevance - engage the child, making connections
Stop calling them ‘soft skills’ - creativity and collaboration are essential 21C skills
Allow variance - value customization
Be an anthropologist, not an archaeologist - study people to understand their value
“Current education dislocates people from their talents” (Robinson, 2015). New Zealand’s National Standards has been enthralled with the idea of ‘linearity, conformity and batching people’, in complete contrast to how life develops - organically and symbiotically. Human talents are diverse and people have different aptitudes. As educators we must create conditions under which these can flourish, by customising and personalising education for our students.
To transform our current education system and compete in the knowledge intensive labour markets, we must recognise that our students need important competencies. Acquiring global languages, navigating aspects of the virtual world as well as the real, and maintaining a healthy social and emotional intelligence are keys. Innovation will challenge what teachers take for granted but we need to rise with the challenge pro-actively. Abraham Lincoln said it best in 1862, when he presented congress with his innovative ideas about emancipation:
|Figure 4. Abraham Lincoln as quoted by Sir Ken Robinson (Bring on the Learning Revolution, 2015).|
Change is always challenging, it is how we respond to these challenges that matters.
Buckley, R (2015), KPMG. Beyond 2030: Global Megatrends and the Impact on New Zealand's Prosperity. Retrieved from https://www.iod.org.nz/Portals/0/Director%20Development/Conference/2015/Session%206_KPMG%20Global%20Mega%20Trends%20April%202015%20revised.pdf
CAST. (2010, January 6). UDL At A Glance [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.WqMN5RNuZQI
Edualert. (2012, July 24). What is 21st century education? [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=773hbiCTkg4
Gaspardi, E. (2012). Teaching for Innovation: Supporting Diverse Learning Communities. In D. Jaquith, & N. Hathaway, (Eds.), The Learner-Directed Classroom (pp. 99-106). New York, United States of America: Teachers College Press.
MacFound. (2010). Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner [Video]. MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0xa98cy-Rw
National Centre on Universal Design for learning, (2009). UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines
OECD. (2016) Trends Shaping Education 2016, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/trends_edu-2016-en (this publication can be read online by following its DOI’s hyperlink)
Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21). (2007). Framework for 21st Century Learning. Retrieved on 10 March 2018 from http://www.p21.org/about-us/p21-framework
Robinson, K. (2015). Bring on the Learning Revolution! Ken Robinson. TED Talks [Video]. Retrieved on 10 March 2018 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=kFMZrEABdw4
Rolfe et al.'s reflective model, (2001). Adapted from: Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user's guide. Retrieved from https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/media/MyCumbria/Documents/ReflectiveModelRolfe.pdf
Speicher, S. (2009). IDEO’s 10 tips for creating a 21st century classroom experience. Retrieved from https://www.ideo.com/news/ideos-ten-tips-for-creating-a-21st-century-classroom-experience
The Washington Post. (2015). The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/23/the-worlds-languages-in-7-maps-and-charts/?utm_term=.9480c4e034ef
Thank you for visiting,