Sometimes called “Standards-Based”, here are some resources for those interested in finding out more about Proficiency Based Learning and Grading.
A most common phrase you might hear in schools today is “21st Century Learning“, and how schools and teachers are (or are not) preparing students for a 21st Century World. At UVEI we even use a prompt related to this during admissions for prospective teachers.
The title of this post is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. After all, shouldn’t we be preparing students for the 22nd Century? A student entering Kindergarten now will graduate from college in about 2030! Besides, we are actually 13% of our way through the 21st Century anyway!
Regardless, when I hear this phrase, I often hear it in the same sentence as “technology”, as it the goal was to become more technologically proficient. But really it’s so much more than that.
If you are in the Education profession, you have been awash in various initiatives about Standards. Whether it’s the Common Core (a set of standards for math and english adopted by many states) or the NECAP’s (a narrowly focused student test being used to judge student, teacher and school performance), the idea of Standards Based teaching and learning is being presented as “this new way of teaching”.
Wikipedia boldly claims:
“Standards are an evolution of the earlier OBE (outcomes-based education) which was largely rejected in the United States as unworkable in the 1990s, and is still being implemented by some and abandoned by other governments”
But in reality, it’s been a staple of education for centuries, it’s schools that have come full circle back to it.
But what exactly is it?
We recently had our family vacation with our three boys and it was somewhat new territory for us. It was the first vacation we have been on where the majority of our boys are reading. In the last few months, our 8 year old has really hit that place where his reading has grown in leaps and bounds.
Apart from the significant amount of peace and quiet we gained, I noticed we were lugging around a lot of books and it really got me thinking about Kindles.
When I talk to people about 21st century learning, sometimes I think there are two different conversations. When I think of 21st century learning, I think of Tony Wagner and the skills and dispositions people need to be successful today. Sometimes I think the other person is just thinking about technology and computers. I came across two example of projects that have done 21st century learning and assessment wrong and right. I’ll let you see if you can spot which is which.