“In times of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves beautifully equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”– Eric Hoffer
There is no doubt that we live in times of drastic change. Yet the models of education we work within seem more suited to a world that no longer exists. The challenge before us, then, is to create deep, meaningful change in our schools that will prepare our students to inherit their futures.
So how do we, as educational leaders, meet this challenge? Where do we begin to embark on the journey forward? In short, how we do we get there from here?
As I have grappled with these questions, I have relied upon my personal learning network — both in person and online. While attending a workshop on 21st Century Learning recently, the presenter made reference to EdLeader21, an online professional learning community for educational leaders working to foster the kinds of learning focused on developing students’ creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills in their districts and schools.
On the EdLeader21 website, I came across The Leader’s Guide to 21st Century Education by Ken Kay (@kenkay21) and Valerie Greenhill (@val_green). While their book is not a road map with a clearly delineated route, it does offer a framework consisting of seven recommended steps:
- Adapt Your Vision of 21st Century Outcomes and Lead!
- Create community consensus
- Align your system
- Build professional capacity
- Embed 4 C’s (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication) in curriculum and assessment
- Support teachers in the classroom
- Improve and innovate
As I embark on this journey, I plan to use this framework as a starting point for my thinking and planning next steps in my work. I’ll share my process of reflection and discovery through this blog. Feel free to share your comments.