In week four in my fourth class at Walden University: Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work & Society we are to post to our blog about evaluating and exploring the website of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website or abbreviated P21. This website discusses the advancement of 21st century skills that are and will be needed for students while and once they finish school and are entering the workforce. When exploring this website there were a lot of things that excited me because I teach art and as an art educator in the state of Ohio look to things outside of the state standardized test. A lot of what they focus on is information literacy, critical thinking, communication and problem solving skills, teamwork, information technology, leadership, creativity and innovative thinking, lifelong learning, self-direction, professionalism, ethics, and social responsibility. Most and hopefully one day all of these ideas I would love to think that I do everyday in my classroom.
When searching through the website there was tons of information, but of course as an art teacher my eyes go directly to anything that correlates to the arts, creativity and innovation. The P21 website embraces creativity in schools and I saw a link under “The Creative Act”-Marcel Duchamp that made mention of the Readymade artist Marcel Duchamp. Known for his innovative ideas in art one of his most well known or controversial artworks is that of a urinal called Fountain from 1917. He with other artists from the time made the public think differently or more creatively when thinking about ideas in art. Today his name is being discussed on the P21 website not because of a urinal, but because of his new ideas of those days back then.
Other ideas that caught my attention are that of the 4 C’s: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity, that P21 bases their ideas around along with the 3 R’s. I feel that because I have not yet had the opportunity to have technology in my classroom that I am still able to capture the 4 C’s into my daily teachings and my students are continually learning them. I feel that technology in my classroom is not a necessity, but could heighten the use of the 4 C’s in my art room. It would make all of the C’s more compatible with the 21st century skills that my students future employers would be looking for when hiring them in their future. There was a video on the website from you tube by Peter H. Reynold called Above & Beyond: The Story of the 4 C’s that made me think back to when I taught art at the elementary level. He wrote and illustrated a book called The Dot and Ish that I would read to my students. Those books along with the video tell a story of using creativity to create the unimaginable, and to think outside the box. As a teacher I feel that we need to push our students to do so everyday we are in the classroom.
If there were one thing from the website that I would have to criticize would be the state initiatives that were listed. My state was on the list, but it looks as though since our previous governor Ted Strickland left office and the new governor (dare I write his name) Kasich has not done anything to update the website. I feel things that P21 are doing is to improve the education system in the United States. I am hoping when I go back to the website down the road that I will see that my state will be more on board with the ideas behind P21.The implications for my students and myself as a contemporary educator are that I need to keep myself updated on new trends and to get my students on track for their future. It is important for not only my students, but for myself as an educator to be aware of what is going on in education and to always continue to be a life long learner no matter what I do in my life.