Education has traditionally focused on the basic “3Rs” of reading, writing and arithmetic. However, as the ever increasing pace of technological innovation drives changes in the world, educators must re-evaluate whether the skills they teach truly provide their students with the best opportunities to succeed in school, the workforce, and in life overall.
This naturally leads to the question of what those skills are or will be, and while there are other excellent suggestions out there, Pearson’s 2014 edition of “The Learning Curve” report lists the 8 skills below as those most necessary to succeed in the 21st century.
Understanding and Teaching These Skills
In order to incorporate these skills into their lessons and to develop student ability in each area, teachers must first understand what these things truly mean.
People have discussed leadership for centuries, and generated a wide array of different definitions and theories about what it means. While anyone interested in the field should of course explore further on their own, one good place to start working towards a basic understanding of current ideas about any topic is a contemporary review of the subject by scholars in the field.
Perhaps even more importantly for educators than dogmatically fixating on a specific concept of leadership though, is to effectively teach it to students. Similar to above, there are many proposed methods for teaching leadership, and while sometimes expensive, once again it is often helpful to consult a comprehensive reference on the subject written by experts in the field.
Overall, one common theme runs through most modern theories, which is that leadership is no longer necessarily about powerful individuals directing others. Rather, it is about fostering collaboration, working towards common goals, and acting as a leader in any role assumed, regardless of whether it meets the classical definition of a leader.
Digital literacy is the ability to use digital technology to locate, review, utilize and create new information. Unlike teaching leadership skills, which can be abstruse and subjective in nature, improving students’ digital literacy is generally a much more concrete process, with a wide variety of tools readily available, including an online Digital Literacy portal funded by the U.S. Federal government. Read the rest of this entry »