21st Century Education Summit
Posted by Comments (10)on Tuesday, May 17, 2011
There is nothing more satisfying than a grassroots effort to change the world for the better. Parents for Great Education hosted a 21st Century Education Summit at DeAnza College last Saturday afternoon. Even though the attendance was under the 250 that had been hoped for, all participants left with a renewed understanding on the importance of providing all students with 21st century skills while finding new ways to fund California’s schools adequately and consistently.
Anne E. Campbell, San Mateo County’s superintendent of schools, said she finds it rather ironic that with 11 percent of the 21st century behind us we are still talking about this issue. Finally there is wind at the sails of the movement to get beyond the 19th century classroom that once emphasized rote memorization skills rather than critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and problem solving skills.
It is the goal of P21 to integrate these aforementioned skills, called the four c’s, into all core content areas including English language arts, mathematics, history-social science, science, visual and performing arts and world languages in order to prepare each student for college, career and civic engagement.
A recent Newsweek cover story’s analysis on today’s students understanding of civics education was that, “the country’s future is imperiled by our ignorance.” In a recent editorial, Stephen Zack, president of the American Bar Association, wrote, “A government cannot survive if it is not understood and embraced by its people.”
The P21 framework calls for a well-rounded curriculum that integrates 21st century skills into all content areas for each child to acquire:
Financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy
During the panel I moderated, Michael Matsuda, co-chair of 21st Century Coalition for California, said those who drop out of school regretted their decision years later. In a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation study 81 percent of a large sample of dropouts recently surveyed said they would not have dropped out of high school if the curriculum was relevant and engaging. These data indicate that the students who dropped out were capable academically yet they were bored with the 19th century classroom structure in a 21st century constantly changing world. Another panelist said our schools today are creating multiple choice test takers when in reality the world is an essay contest.
The 21st Century Coalition for California is currently working with Assembly education chair Julia Brownley’s AB250 and Sen. Lou Correa’s new SB402. Both bills further P21 goals and objectives. For more information visit http://www.p21california.com.
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