With all the professional development I’ve done in the last few years, I feel as if my practice as an educator has focused more on 21st century teaching and learning. But sometimes, after parent conferences, I feel a bit confounded by the ethos of the learning environment our school’s create and the expectations parent’s have for their children’s learning.
Here are some of the things I’ve caught myself saying:
No. I will not teach your 3-year old their ABCs.
No. I will not force your 5-year old to write and rewrite a sentence with proper syntax.
No. I will not jump up and down when your 7-year old knows their multiplication facts to 12.
In 1970, Fortune 500 companies were asked to name the most valued skills in their employees. The top 3 results were:
2. Computation Skills (math)
3. Reading Skills
And if your educational experience was anything like mine, you know that teachers spent a great deal focusing on those specific skills. Read. Write. Memorize. Regurgitate the answers. Repeat.
But today, when Fortune 500 companies were asked again, the top 3 look skills and characteristics of their dream employees are drastically different. Employers look for workers who have skills in:
2. Problem solving
3. Interpersonal skills
Enter the inquiry model and a 21st century classroom. In modern-day inquiry-based classrooms, the crux of the program centers around students collaborating together through play, solving problems (both academically and socially), and taking risks in the process of learning.
Here is why inquiry-based learning for an ever-changing world is the way to go.
So parents… how can you support your child continue their inquiry at home so they can be a 21st century learner ready to be an employee of the future?