I could not agree more with this quote from John Dewey. No matter what year it is, this quote still hits close to home for me as I’m sure it does for you. It makes me wonder what a 21st century classroom looks like and how prepared it will make our children for the future? It spawns a discussion amongst educators no matter where they are across the world as no one really has the answers to these questions. However, I’ve found someone that has really become a pioneer for future education. Her name is Anne Shaw and she helps model 21st Century Schools.
Anne is a true visionary and excels at making people and organizations perform higher which in turn makes for a better student. Her forte is in curriculum design and professional development that is renown across the world.
When I’ve worked with Anne, I could feel a passion where she cares for everybody. Some of her strengths that she fuses into the curriculum and schools include:
- Personalized learning
- Project-Based learning
- Inquiry-driven alignment to (and beyond) the standards
- 21st century skills
- Integration of technologies
- Multiple literacies
- STEAM learning styles
- Classroom strategies planning tools
- Thinking tools
- Tons of resources
- Interdisciplinary, from the arts to writing designing
- The learning environment
- From maker spaces to edible schoolyards,
- Math labs to kitchens
- Multimedia production
These are exactly the same things I hear from the industry as well as from educators who state that many of our students are still lacking. In fact, this past week I was able to go on a tour at our local Alcoa-Howmet with 30 students and the Human Resources Director and the Plant Manager both echoed the same message… that students need to be better equipped with the essentials like the ones Mrs. Shaw stresses in 21st Century Schools.
If you have been fortunate to have seen one of her sessions or read her book, you would see how easy it is to initiate this transformation. However, if you have not attended a session, I highly recommend that you sign up! She has her next session coming up next month in San Francisco and I encourage you to attend.
For if you listen to her you won’t be asking what does a 21st century classroom look like. Instead, you’ll be asking how did a 20th century classroom really teach children?