In recent months, we’ve had a great deal of debate on the future of 21st century skills and their role in a public education system that focuses on accountability and quantifying student achievement on the core academic subjects. This week’s announcement of planned national academic standards only further muddy the future of 21CS.
As Eduflack has written time and again, 21CS skills are an important component to 21st century learning, particularly if we are to give STEM education the emphasis and the due that it so richly deserves. But as I’ve always looked at it, it is not about teaching 21CS as course content, it is about using 21CS as a delivery system for the ELA, math, science, and social studies that our students have needed, do need, and will need in order to maximize their K-12 experiences and be on a pathway toward real opportunity. At the end of the day, 21CS is about how we teach, not what we teach. For me, it is about ensuring that our current learning environment does not devolve into one where we are unplugging and deskilling our students.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out what the folks over at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills are up to here. For the next two weeks, are hosting a cybersummit on 21CS. As of the kickoff this morning, they have more than 1,700 folks registered to at least take a peek at the current discussion and content around 21CS. It may be worth checking out, particularly for those who may have their doubts.