You know you’ve read a good post when it makes you have several different thoughts about something important. While this post begins like another, it has a totally different ending…
Recently I read an article from District Administrator magazine entitled,
“The Three New Pillars of 21st Century Learning” What happens when our basic assumptions about schooling no longer apply?
and it began:
The textbook, The lecturer and the classroom are three pillars of modern-day schooling that date back hundreds of years. Each was invented to solve a problem. The textbook was invented because information was scarce, the lecturer because teachers were few and the classroom because learning was local. These enduring icons persist into the Internet age, shaping our view of learning and driving the popularity of their digital grandchildren, things like iPad “textbooks” and the Kahn Academy “lectures.”
The author, Rob Mancabelli, goes on to say,
“In the 21st Century, the Internet has ushered in an online learning environment where information is abundant, teachers are plentiful and learning is global.“
He talks about each of the three long-standing pillars as impacting curriculum, instruction and assessment. Then he identifies 3 new pillars, which he says are a beginning conversation piece–and he invites readers to help define those.
Rob’s new pillars are
Pillar #1: “I’m only one of my students’ teachers, but I’m the most important because I teach them to connect to all the others.” Implication area: Instruction
Pillar #2: “My students should learn from me how to learn without me.” Implication area: Curriculum
Pillar #3: “My students’ knowledge lies not only in their minds but in their networks.” Implication area: Assessment
In his last paragraph, he says, “We need to have the courage to create new pillars, based on new assumptions.” I agree, but I think the “pillars” he names as the new ones are perhaps the assumptions we base new pillars on—not the actual pillars.
So, for example, in Pillar 1–Instruction
The Pillar is actually Learning how to learn; teachers have got to move from thinking of teaching to helping students learn.
in Pillar 2–Curriculum
I think the Pillar is actually Connecting-relationships, both online and off; connections between what you know, what you need to know and what you want to know.
and in Pillar 3, Assessment, the Pillar is actually Doing–using what you know and what you can learn from the Internet, your network and local and global resources to mix, remix, create content and do something that adds value to our world.
What do you think?