Why does learning in many schools around the world still looks very traditional, lacking the rigor and purposefulness required to prepare students for the 21st Century? Have you ever made this question? Does it sound familiar? Understanding exactly how to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions students must possess to be successful in the 21st century has become a common discussion point in many schools worldwide. Some teachers express a desire to help students become better problem-solvers, to be collaborative and to think critically. Developing instruction that engages students with an issue of local or global significance, provides them an opportunity to apply content knowledge in a meaningful way and allows multiple opportunities for reflection, refinement and self-assessment all serve as ways to engage students in deeper learning while giving them a purposeful way to apply 21st century skills. To make this all possible though, it's important to take into account some issues as teachers plan and instruct. The main objective is to create an environment for learning and development in which every student is prepared to develop global competence. Have you ever heard of it?
is best defined as a student's capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. Instruction that supports the development of globally competent student provides multiple opportunities to investigate the world, recognize and weigh diverse perspectives, communicate ideas and take action.
The core learning approach provides clear criteria and a reliable process for students to produce work that demonstrates knowledge readiness and global competence. In a practical sense, the strategy used to help guide teachers planning is to ask them to reflect on the SAGE elements of a learning task:
: The task calls on students to plan and assess their work over time through reflection. During the task, students are asked to make key decisions about the direction of their work, focus, and presentation. To support this, the task provides opportunities for teachers to deliver formative and summative feedback to the students throughout the learning process.
: The task provides an experience that resembles what adults do in the real-world. This requires students to communicate, collaborate, think critically, be creative, negotiate with other people, and use digital media in ways that support knowledge building.
: The task fosters the capacity and dispositions to understand and act on issues of global significance. Ideally, the task stimulates students to build knowledge that is cross disciplinary.
: The task provides students with opportunities to showcase or present their work to an appropriate/relevant audience beyond the teacher and classroom. Students are provided opportunities to discuss their work and receive feedback that holds them accountable for their claims.
For more information about global competence or structures that promote globally-focused instruction, you can download a of the book, by Veronica Boix-Mansilla and Tony Jackson. The book is really worth reading and it broadens our minds in the sense of reflecting on our role as educators for the 21st century students. I do recommend!