21st Century Learners Essay

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Preparing 21st Century Learners
Sheri Lawson
February 24, 2013

Preparing 21st Century Learners

Preparing students for the 21st century involves more than teaching our students what to expect. Our teachers also need to be prepared. Only after the teachers know what is expected can they show our students what is needed.
Decker Middle School (DMS or Decker) strives to be on the cutting edge of 21st century education. Taking from the book of New Tech High School in the Manor Independent School District, DMS is working towards becoming a project based learning (PBL) campus.   The first steps have been to issue iPads to all 6th graders and begin training teachers on the aspects of PBL.
The teachers at Decker are divided about PBL working on the campus. Many believe it is the way of the future and feel the campus must prepare itself, the teachers, and the students for this eventuality. Others feel that PBL cannot succeed if the students do not have the basic concepts of reading, writing, and math first.
Summary of Findings
The majority of people surveyed at DMS feel the teachers and the campus are prepared to teach 21st century students and skills. However, they do not believe the students are ready for such learning. One way to help prepare the students is to hold them more accountable for their education.
Everyone surveyed believes that PBL is the way of the future and will help prepare students for the 21st century.   There is, however, still a need for the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Technology does not take away from the fact that future workforces will still need to read, write, and compute.
According to those surveyed, skills required for the 21st century will mainly revolve around technology and the need to work with people from all over the world. We need to prepare our students by teaching them collaboration, work ethic, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and digital citizenship in addition to language arts, math,...

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