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Archive for March, 2012

Because I’ve got one already…

We’ve been given a world that has been messed up by previous generations. And we’ll be passing it on after we use most of the non-renewable resources … after we pollute habitat that can’t be replaced. It’s true that we get knowledge and technology from previous generations, but what good is it if the earth is an inhospitable place?

Let’s see, we’ve inherited:

  • An unsustainable economy based on depleting our resources as fast as possible. But who cares, right?! It’s all about the bottom line.
  • Global warming and loss of biodiversity. Soon we’ll have nothing on earth except cockroaches and rats. Bon Appétit!

If you don’t know what I’m talking about then have a chat with David Suzuki. It would be nice if every generation got their own world, but oh well… we have to deal with it.

But every cloud has a silver lining:

These problems mean there are opportunities for 21st century learners to shine. 21st century learners are people who are required to excel at critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem solving.  These are people who are being prepared for jobs that don’t exist today. 21st century learners are being educated through student-centered instruction; they are given real problems and are required to collaborate with colleagues to solve them.

A perfect example is the live broadcasting program at Sir Wilfrid Laurier SS where students are responsible for broadcasting the morning announcements. The twist is that every classroom has a T.V. and so the students have to do these announcements using live video. The students navigate a fully furnished T.V. studio (with cameras, teleprompters etc.) and work together in groups of around 10, all doing vital but distinct jobs.

These 21st century learners will hopefully help us solve the problems that the previous generations couldn’t solve. One thing is for sure, our political discourse might be a lot less juvenile if the people in power can communicate, collaborate, problem solve effectively and apply critical thinking skills. 

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