A Different Focus on Learning

A child entering school today will graduate from high school into a very different world. Simply knowing facts will have little value. Preparing students for the 21st century while working within an educational model developed for the 19th century is a challenge. Educators, parents and businesses are realizing that the education system needs to evolve and change if it is going to prepare students to be effective contributors in our society. The following 11 minute Ted Talk gives an excellent summary of this.

Schools and school divisions everywhere around the world are looking to change how school is done. A growing emphasis is about helping students learn how to learn. The world is changing faster than ever and it will not slow down. Helping our students to adapt to that changing world has to be a focus for schools.

Our vision for learning at Landmark Collegiate has stemmed from two years of research, collaboration, and professional development. LC is looking to make changes that reflect a growing emphasis on how learners learn, rather than only on what they learn. As a staff we have explored and discussed how we learn, why we learn, what motivates us to learn, and what should we learn.  We have tried to identify the “skills, knowledge, attitudes and dispositions” that we want from our students long after they have graduated from high school and how we can play a significant role in developing those attributes.

This year teachers at LC will, at times, be engaging their students in Project – Based Learning. In a PBL classroom, the learner is involved in the inquiry process from the very beginning. Learners are immersed in an inquiry experience that gets them thinking about and questioning the topic. The learners work with their teacher to come up with strong, driving questions that will guide their learning. Not only are they learning content and concepts relevant to them, but they are also gaining skills in what many are calling the 6 C’s for the 21st century.

  1. Character education— honesty, self-regulation and responsibility, perseverance, empathy for contributing to the safety and benefit of others, self-confidence, personal health and well-being, career and life skills.
  2. Citizenship — global knowledge, sensitivity to and respect for other cultures, active involvement in addressing issues of human and environmental sustainability.
  3. Communication — communicate effectively orally, in writing and with a variety of digital tools; listening skills.
  4. Critical thinking and problem solving — think critically to design and manage projects, solve problems, make effective decisions using a variety of digital tools and resources.
  5. Collaboration — work in teams, learn from and contribute to the learning of others, social networking skills, empathy in working with diverse others.
  6. Creativity and imagination — economic and social entrepreneurialism, considering and pursuing novel ideas, and leadership for action

If students could graduate with a strong foundation in these skills, they will be better prepared for the 21st century.

Throughout the year we intend to provide further information to parents of our attempt to make school more relevant, meaningful and enjoyable for all learners. Parents are always welcome to come in and have a conversation with us.

in: Principal's Blog