Scott McMahan
Scott McMahan  |  Internet
Email Us!Our Website
Our Blog
Blog
Post+
Search
  
Filter By

The 21st Century Skills and English Map
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2008
Posted by: Scott McMahan | more..
Have you seen "The 21st Century Skills and English Map"? (Link to PDF
below.) This is frightening stuff if you care at all about education
and the future. It's put out by the "Partnership for 21st Century
Skills" (www.21stcenturyskills.org) which seems to be a bailout-era
employment program for people who have humanities degrees and no job
prospects. ("The leading advocacy organization infusing 21st century
skills into education.")

Most of the map is either blindingly obvious ("...asking significant
questions that clarify various points of view..."), or complete
nonsense that can't be parsed into meaningful English ("Framing,
analyzing and synthesizing information in order to solve problems and
answer questions" -- what does that mean?).

But look at some of their 21st Century skills:

POST-MODERN DECONSTRUCTION. "Examining how individuals interpret
messages differently, how values and points of view are included or
excluded and how media can influence beliefs and behaviors
encountered. Students pool the data as a class. Using the compiled
data, students write analytical essays drawing conclusions about the
intention, ethics, effectiveness, or other topic inferred from the
data."

GROUPTHINK. "Leveraging the collective intelligence of groups when
appropriate"

GETTING OTHERS TO DO YOUR WORK FOR YOU. "Leveraging strengths of
others to accomplish a common goal" (Although hardly a 21st century
skill, since I remember this happening in school back in the 20th
century. Teachers grouping students together and one or two doing the
work while the rest sat and talked.)

COMPROMISING YOUR BELIEFS TO GET ALONG WITH OTHERS. "Exercising
flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary
compromises to accomplish a common goal."

Dress it up how they like (unfortunately, they don't list obfuscating
what you're really trying to say in a blizzard of buzzwords and fluff
as a 21st Century skill), this is still scary. These are the skills
we're supposed to be teaching young people? My jaw hit the floor when
I was reading this report, and I'm not easy to surprise.

Web Link:  CLICK TO FOLLOW EXTERNAL LINK
Category:  Education

permalink | post new | clone this | rss feed | blog top »