A Model Of Effective Instruction Essay

804 words - 4 pages

Model of Effective Instruction
I would have to contend that the 21st Century learning skills are a model example of effective instruction. In an ever-changing society it goes without saying that our classroom practices will also be revolutionized. In order to successfully prepare a student to enter in to the world outside of high school we must prepare them for the realities that they will encounter. Rotherham & Willingham (2009) state, “… the skills students need in the 21st century are not new” (p.352). Critical thinking, problem solving, the “mastery of different kinds of knowledge”, and multifaceted analysis are all skills that originated with the traditional school setting (p. 352). “What is actually new is the extent to which changes in our economy and world mean that collective and individual success depends on having such skills” (p. 352). With that being said- as our economy and world continue to transform, as educators, we must also renovate our thinking and teaching in order to put our best foot forward; however, some believe that we will never find perfection in the classroom or in preparing our students and that we must not capitulate to every movement we encounter. Senechal (2010) argues that a movement, such as the 21st Century skills movement, is nothing more than a distractor. She acknowledges that our schools “are in need of repair- but we will not improve them by scorning tradition or succumbing to the “claims of the present”” (p. 370). She states that in order to repair the problems that we are to “seek out excellence, nurture it, defend it, and live up to it. We must be willing to lift the levels of the subjects we teach…” (p.370). Perhaps I am reading too much, or too little, into this statement but I would argue that the 21st Century skills movement is just that—lifting the levels of the subjects we teach; it takes a great deal of courage to step outside of the box as a means to challenge our students.
The traditional classroom was one compromised of “rows of ugly desks placed in geometrical order,” which allowed for “listening, which meant the dependency of one mind upon another, or passivity, absorption” (Senechal, 2010, p. 359). Today’s classrooms are compromised of innovation, creativity, problem solving, communication, collaboration, media and technology literacy, financial literacy, etc. (2010). Our ugly desks...

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