Deepening our understanding of the 21st …

Big Five Educational Challenges: Deepening Our Understanding of 21st Century Capabilities

“There is a harmony that can be achieved so that we don’t just add another layer to the curriculum …” © Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

When it comes to preparing students for life and work, significant strides have been made in defining 21st century competencies, but curriculum implementation is the next hurdle.

This was one of the messages from the first webinar to revisit the “Big Five” educational challenges facing Australian schools, as reported by. outlined Teacher Columnist Professor Geoff Masters AO in an influential series published six years ago.

The special webinar series – hosted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) – The five great challenges of education in a changed world – brings together researchers, practitioners and policy makers to discuss progress made and next steps.

On the subject of 21st century skills, as Professor Masters pointed out in his recent article introducing the series: “Identifying the knowledge, skills and traits required to participate successfully in modern life, and then teaching them in the most effective way possible constant challenges. ‘

Discover reports ACER Senior Research Fellow Dr. Claire Scoular told the webinar audience that one of the biggest advances in the last six years has been to deepen our understanding of the skills and how to develop them. “It did a detailed hypothesis of what the skills would look like and then tried to validate this by collecting assessment data and using expert judgment.”

Esther Care, Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, identified the next challenge: “If you think about math or literacy, you have a curriculum and most teachers would understand that there is an inherent order in how students’ knowledge and skills are in these two Accumulate areas. “. So where are the guidelines for 21st century capabilities? What can we realistically expect from a 7 year old compared to a 15 year old in terms of their creative skills or critical thinking? ‘

Each of the webinars includes a question-and-answer session with the experts. When asked if teaching these skills would add to the workload for educators, Scoular said the feedback from teachers is that they are already doing many aspects but not necessarily making the connections explicit. “There is a harmony that can be achieved so that we are not just adding another layer of the curriculum that is about skills, but actually integrating them into existing practice and curriculum topics.”

Read the full article: Integrating 21st Century Skills into the Curriculum published in ACER’s Discover

The first two webinars in the series can now be viewed on YouTube:

In the next webinar, Dr. Sue Thomson – ACER Assistant CEO (Research) and Manager of PISA in Australia – joined by Anne Hampshire, Head of Research and Advocacy for the Smith Family, and Victorian secondary school teacher Steven Kolber to see Australia’s “long tail” of underperformance. Click the link below for more details and to register:

Think of your own classroom. How do you measure student success when it comes to skills such as collaboration, creative thinking, and critical thinking? Do you and your students understand the skills and how they develop?

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