January 21, 2021

Promoting Powerful Learning for the 21st Century

The idea of student achievement is changing.

Test scores and prescribed content knowledge will not enable students to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. They need to develop a complex, but attainable, mix of skills and habits of mind.

Recent changes in K-12 standards, like the Common Core and Colorado’s Academic Standards, help to frame this new concept of achievement. But it’s up to educators to figure out how to design and lead learning that gives these standards meaning. C21L works with educators and organizations to infuse 21st century into curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Students Learning

Picture This:

Every student who graduates from a Colorado high school:

  • Inquires, thinks critically and gains knowledge
  • Makes informed decisions, applies knowledge to new situations and creates new knowledge
  • Shares knowledge and participates productively in society
  • Pursues personal growth
(Standards for the 21st Century Learner,
American Association of School Librarians, 2007)

Learning In and For the 21st Century

It’s useful to think of 21st century learning in two ways:

Learning IN the 21st century – focused on the tools and methods used to facilitate learning.
Learning FOR the 21st century – focused on the targets (primarily skills and habits of mind) the learning aims to achieve.

While most of the attention in K-12 education is on learning IN (e.g., blended learning, 1-to-1 initiatives, digital image displays, and handheld assessment devices), we believe that educators would serve learning needs better by attending first to learning FOR (e.g., critical and creative thinking, information literacy, collaboration, and personal responsibility.

See more.