How can we educate young people for success in the 21st century?
Cambridge academic maps out a vision for 21 Century education
The Director of Education at the University of Cambridge International Examinations, Dr Tristian Stobie, presented at the 21st Century Knowledge and Skills conference organised by the University of Southern California Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice (CERPP) on 11-13 January 2012.
The conference discussed how we can educate young people so that they take an active role in global society, and develop the skills, knowledge and habits needed in the 21st century. Tristian Stobie spoke about the skills that 21st century students need to develop – including in-depth understanding, critical thinking, creativity, global awareness, and the ability to communicate and debate ideas clearly. There is a consensus about the competencies students need in order to function effectively in higher education and the modern work place.
• Most countries recognize that their education system is failing to produce students with these qualities
• Curriculum and assessment practices can be developed to improve the situation.
We need, Stobie says, ‘to assess what we value not value what we assess’.
• Assessment has a backwash effect on curriculum and teacher practice. This must be recognized so that teachers and schools focus on what we value.
• Curriculum, with corresponding assessments, must be broad and balanced. Students must be assessed on the processes as well as the products of learning and be able to demonstrate understanding and performance holistically in authentic contexts as well as in examinations and tests.
• The central role of the teacher as a creative professional must be recognized and encouraged.
What about Generic Competencies and their place in HE?
• Competencies refer to specific patterns of behaviour that enable a person to perform a
particular task to the required standard
• Study conducted by Cambridge assessment 2011 identified 10 areas applicable to all subjects:
– Active Enquiry – Open Thinking Style
– Motivation – Self-Discipline
– Organisation – Copes with Demands
– Resilient – Emotional control
– Self-reflective – Organisation Citizenship
And what outcomes are we looking for from Learners?
Desirable Learner Outcomes
• Basic skills: Numeracy / literacy / IT/ languages
• In depth subject understanding
• Problem solving / critical thinking: the ability to investigate and analyze complex problems in unfamiliar situations
• Information literacy
• Adaptability / flexibility / resilience
• Global / international / intercultural understanding
• Learning to learn for life
• Ability to communicate, argue and debate with clarity
• Ability to work effectively in teams and individually
Learn more about the 21st Century Knowledge and Skills conference