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21st Century Literacy Skills

Teachers Can Make a


Difference!

Dr. Debbie Powell


University of North Carolina Wilmington
Our Children’s Future
• Kindergartners today are the class of 2021
• Children born today will retire in 2063-
2080
• What will the world be like then?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1KEFgD6Dtg
The World Has Changed
We have moved into a
more demanding
cognitive age, compelling
people to become better
at absorbing, processing
and combining
information.

Can we learn to Who might our kindergarten children


be working with on an on-the-job
change with it? project in 2025?
Fastest Growing Cities

CityMayor Statistics
Today cities with the largest
populations
1. Tokyo, Japan - 28,025,000
2. Mexico City, Mexico - 18,131,000
3. Mumbai, India - 18,042,000
4. Sáo Paulo, Brazil - 17, 711,000
5. New York City, USA - 16,626,000
6. Shanghai, China - 14,173,000
7. Lagos, Nigeria - 13,488,000
8. Los Angeles, USA - 13,129,000
9. Calcutta, India - 12,900,000
10. Buenos Aires, Argentina - 12,431,000

http://www.worldatlas.com/citypops.htm
How will this change in 2025?
1. Tokyo, Japan 36.4 million
2. Mumbai, India 26.4 The World Resource
Institute predicts 33
3. Delhi, India 22.4
mega cities--those with
4. Dhaka, Bangladesh 22
populations exceeding
5. Sao Paulo, Brazil 18.3 8 million--by 2025.
6. Mexico City, Mexico 21 That's up from 21 in
7. New York City, 20.6 1990, not to mention
8. Calcutta India, 20.6 mil two in 1950 (London
9. Shanghai, China 19.4 and New York). All but
10. Karachi, Pakistan 19.1 six of the 33 will be in
the developing world.
Tom Van Riper , 2008
http://www.forbes.com/2008/03/19/cities-population-
pollution-innovation08-cx_tvr_0319futurecities.html
The two chief forces reshaping
our world are the changing
demographics and the
technological changes.
From: Internet World Stats
Two Paradigms for Globalization
• The globalization paradigm leads people to see economic
development as a form of foreign policy, as a grand
competition between nations and civilizations. These
abstractions, called “the Chinese” or “the Indians,” are
doing this or that.

• The cognitive age paradigm emphasizes psychology,


culture and pedagogy — the specific processes that foster
learning. It emphasizes that different societies are being
stressed in similar ways by increased demands on human
capital. If you understand that you are living at the
beginning of a cognitive age, you’re focusing on the real
source of prosperity and understand that your anxiety is
not being caused by a foreigner.
Brooks, 2008
Globalization Is an Integral Part of
This Generation
Because of globalization—the ongoing
process of intensifying economic, social,
and cultural exchanges across the
planet—young people the world over need
more innovative thinking skills, cultural
awareness, higher-order cognitive skills,
and sophisticated communication and
collaboration skills than ever before.
The illiterate of the 21st Century
will not be those who cannot
read and write

But those who cannot learn,


unlearn and re-learn

Alvin Toffler
The Transformation
• If the world in the 21st Century is going to be
more demanding of our young people, then we
must urge them to higher and higher standards,
more and more qualifications and a disposition
for learning throughout life.

• We recognize that we are calling on schools to


change dramatically, even as they face difficult
economic challenges and a vigorous discussion
of student achievement and assessment”
21st Century Partnership
Schools built on the Industrial Model
won’t work in the 21st Century
• Time on Task
• Standardization of
teaching, learning &
assessment
• Transmission of knowledge
• Over-emphasis on control
• Building learning from the
part to the whole
• Lack of attention to
diversity, individual
differences, socialization,
and collaboration
• Narrow view of
effectiveness and efficiency
Teachers Need a New Pedagogical
DNA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l72UFXqa
8ZU
What “Skills” are 21st Century?
According to 21st Century Partnership Learning Framework:

• Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills


• Communication and collaboration skills
• Creativity and innovation skills
• Information and communications technology
literacy
• Contextual learning
skills
• Information & media
literacy skills
Life and Career Skills
• Leadership
• Personal responsibility
• Ethics
• People skills
• Adaptability
• Self-direction
• Accountability
• Social responsibility
• Personal productivity
Information Literacy
• Accessing information efficiently and effectively,
evaluating information critically and competently and
using information accurately and creatively for the
issue or problem at hand:
• 5 years ago: information has doubled
• 2 years ago: technical information has doubled
• 1 hour ago: electronic information has doubled
(Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007)
• According to the English Language WordClock,
we had 997,752 words in our language as of
7:30 pm 10/12/08; by April 2009 we will have 1
million. That’s about 12 new words a day!
http://www.languagemonitor.com/
Media or Critical Literacy
• Understanding how media messages are
constructed, for what purposes and using which
tools, characteristics and conventions.
• Examining how individuals interpret messages
differently, how values and points of view are
included or excluded and how media can influence
beliefs and behaviors.
• Possessing a fundamental understanding of the
ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and
use of information
According to James Banks
• We need a Social Action Approach

Where students share viewpoints


on social issues and take actions to
help solve them.
“Content” of 21st Century

Core Curriculum +

• Global awareness
• Financial, economic, business and
entrepreneurial literacy
• Civic Literacy
• Environmental awareness
This Isn’t an Add-On Curriculum
This:
– Is a whole new way of thinking—a new
“Pedagogical DNA”
– Requires modeling in the classroom,
what we expect of our learners
– Requires empowerment of teachers
rather than limiting them as is called for
in the “leadership standard” of the new
NC 21st Century Teacher Standards
The 1st step is for schools to
restructure curriculum & pedagogy!

Place student engagement


at the center of the curriculum.
A Day in a 21st Century Classroom
Content Forms the Context for Literacy and Mathematics
•About 6 units a year built around the NC Standards
•Inquiry predominate mode of instruction
•Organized around a “big idea” or significant content
•Incorporates 21st Century content, skills and dispositions
•At least once a year, children are involved in a service learning
project or a real community problem

Reading and Writing Workshop


includes Shared, Guided and Independent Reading and Writing, Word
Study/Spelling, Rich Discussion, Mini Lessons for the Whole Class that
Connect Reading & Writing and Teach Strategies

Mathematics Workshop
Integrating the Child with their
Social & Physical World through
School Experiences

SCHOOL
CHILD WORLD
EXPERIENCES

Rather than leaving out science and social


studies to improve reading, we begin with science
and social studies to engage our learners and
improve reading and math!
What Literacy Teachers Can Do
Right Away
• Recognize the importance of teaching
science and social studies as a rich
context for innovative thinking skills,
cultural awareness, higher-order cognitive
skills, and sophisticated communication
and collaboration skills and reorganize
their curriculum to put these subjects as a
priority.
What Happens to the Air Pressure?
As you go higher in altitude, air pressure decreases steadily.
Air pressure is the force put on a given area by the weight of
the air above it. Air is a mixture of gases. It is made mostly of
molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. Molecules are the smallest
pieces that a substance can be broken into without changing
what the substance is.

The molecules have mass. They are attracted to the Earth by


gravity, so they have weight. Normal air pressure is greatest at
sea level. There the column of air extending above the surface
to the top of the atmosphere is tallest. Sea level air pressure is
about 1.04 kilograms per square centimeter (14.7 pounds per
square inch). As you go higher in the altitude, the height of the
column above you becomes shorter. Therefore the weight of
that column---or air pressure—becomes less.
Molecules are closer together, or more dense, at sea
level than higher in the atmosphere. Denser air
weighs more than an equal volume of less dense air
and pushes down harder. That is why air pressure is
higher at sea level than high in the atmosphere.
Air pressure depends on the weight of its molecules
pressing down on a given area. Molecules are closer
together, or more dense, at sea level than higher in the
atmosphere. Denser air weighs more than an equal
volume of less dense air and pushes down harder.
That is why air pressure is higher at sea level than
high in the atmosphere.

From: McGraw-Hill. Science. Level 5. pp. D11-12.


Comprehension Questions
• As you travel in a plane to a higher altitude, what
happens to the air pressure?
(The pressure lowers.)
• What is air made of?
(It would be correct to say that air is made up of
molecules, a mixture of gases, or mostly nitrogen and
oxygen)
• What are molecules?
(Molecules are the smallest pieces that a substance can
be broken into without changing what the substance is.)
• What is the air pressure at sea level?
(Sea level air pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inch.)
• How well did you answer the
comprehension questions about air
pressure?

• Extremely well Moderately well Not well


1 2 3 4 5
What Happens to the Air Pressure?
Air pressure is the force put on a given area by the
weight of the air above it.

The molecules have mass. They are attracted to the


Earth by gravity, so they have weight. Normal air
pressure is greatest at sea level. There the column of
air extending above the surface to the top of the
atmosphere is tallest. Sea level air pressure is about
14.7 pounds per square inch. As you go higher in the
altitude, the height of the column above you becomes
shorter. Therefore the weight of that column---or air
pressure—becomes less.
Conceptual Understanding
comes BEFORE
Comprehension

• We can’t just read about concepts, but it also


isn’t enough to just “do” hands-on. We need
both.

• Vocabulary is the label for the concept. The


hands-on builds the schema for reading.
On-Going Assessment
• Asking yourself, “What do these children
already know?”
• “Are they able to ask thoughtful
questions?”
• “How do they use their skills to find out?”
• “Are they able to draw accurate
conclusions from their data?”
• “How do they apply their new knowledge?”
Incorporate Inquiry to allow students to construct
conceptual understandings and solve problems

What is Inquiry? The term inquiry is used in


all subject areas at all levels of education.
It is a method of problem solving based on
reflective, rational thinking. The learners
use their own knowledge as well as
outside resources and experiences to
inquire and discover acceptable, rational
solutions of their own.
Adapted from Sheila Wineman
We often think of
inquiry as giving kids
freedom to explore.
But Inquiry is a Gradual Release
of Responsibility

CHILD

The teacher’s role shifts from center stage to setting up


the learning situations and facilitating learning.
Finally, involve children with service-learning
projects that can connect them to schools
around the globe

• Schools can adopt like-minded sister


schools in other nations.
• Students in different parts of the world can
work together on special units, developed
and sustained using the Internet, that
focus on global topics of mutual interest
and relevance.
Connect to the world! Connect to
adults reading the same books!
Connect to penpals!

• http://www.epals.com/
A Major Shift away from Teacher-
Centered to Child-Centered
Constructivist Theory

A Major Shift from Individualism to


Collaboration
Social Learning Theory

A Shift from Skills only to Connecting


Children to our World
Global Awareness Technology and Media Literacy
Civic Literacy Financial and Economic Literacy
Environmental Literacy Information Literacy
Critical Literacy
There’s so much to LEARN and
when children have a reason to
engage, the small things we are
beating our heads against the
wall to teach will come so much
easier!
• Debbie Powell powelld@uncw.edu

http://people.uncw.edu/powelld/
Checklist for Self-Monitoring your Teaching
• Why am I teaching this to these students? How does it
fulfill their needs? (How does it lead to achieving the
standards in the NCSCS and the 21st Century Skills?)
• What is my big understanding or strategy I am teaching?
(What are my standard(s) and objective?)
• How will this idea or strategy be used by these children,
today, tomorrow and in the future?
• Is my work impacting the dispositions of my students?
• How will my assessment planned for this lesson inform
me, my students, and their parents about what they have
learned or need to learn next?
• Who has the primary responsibility for learning in this
lesson? Do I have trust in myself and my children?
• How is my teaching consistent with my beliefs and what I
know about kids?
Brad Walker & Debbie Powell