Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Darling-Hammond responds to report on 21st Century Learning

A special report released yesterday by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science in Washington was intended to define just what researchers, educators and policymakers mean when they talk about "deeper learning" and "21st-century.

The committee found these skills generally fall into three categories: Cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and analytic reasoning; interpersonal skills, such as teamwork and complex communication; and Intrapersonal skills, such as resiliency and conscientiousness (the latter of which has also been strongly associated with good career earnings and healthy lifestyles).

Stanford University education professor Linda Darling-Hammond said she was pleased with the report's recommendation to focus more research and resources on interpersonal skills such as complex communication and teamwork and intrapersonal skills such as resiliency and resourcefulness.
"Unless we want to have just a lot of hand-waving on 21st century skills, we need to get focused and purposeful on how to learn to teach and measure these skills, both in terms of research investments and in terms of the policies and practice that would allow us to develop and measure these skills.
Those are the things that determine whether you make it through college, as much as your GPA or your skill level when you start college. Putting that back on the table is a particularly useful thing; we have tended to de-emphasize those skills in an era in which we are focusing almost exclusively on testing, and a narrow area of testing."  -- Edweek

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