In Australia we are currently in the last 3 weeks before school goes back after our Summer break and whilst I have been enjoying the time playing with my children at the playgrounds, swimming in the pool or watching movies I am now starting to think about preparing for the beginning of school. This post I have decided to begin thinking of how and what the 21st Century learner will be like and how I can model my teaching pedagogy in best preparing these students for the future.
Whilst most students still find working along on worksheets beneficial, most are moving towards a classroom where there is more autonomy and active communication between teachers and their students. Personally, I have found in the last few years that having students stuck behind desks prohibitive to my teaching and especially their learning.
The buzz words of 21st century learning include collaboration, communication, self-regulation, attemping to solve real world problems, and knowledge construction. My aim for the beginning of this year with my classes is to build an environment where students are encouraged to work collaboratively. To do this my aim is to develop a classroom environment where students are seating in clusters rather than individually and are provided with problems that are able to be solved by working together. In saying this, we will still work to the set curriculum however with the chance for students to be fully engaged with the topic rather than being uninterested with slide after slide that I have previously worked with.
As a teacher who enjoys using technology in the classroom and always tries to find new ways in which to utilise new tools, allowing students to use these tools such as a Surface Pro or iPad to enhance their learning can only be a positive for any individual. I am looking at introducing a number of Mystery Skype sessions with my Year 7 class this year that I will hope will give the “collaboration of learning” a new meaning to my students.
Recently I read the following article that discussed how Finland is beginning to move away completely from the tradition subjects taught in a classroom, and focussing more on teaching towards an interdisciplinary format. I really like this format as it allows students of all levels to be able to work on a variety of topics with other students that have a passion for that topic. This can only be a positive for students as they will be able to work to their maximum potential with the guidance for their teachers.
To finish this blog post on, an awesome quote by the ever brilliant Walt Disney.
Till next time