Helen Haste’s concept of people as problem solvers rather than tool users resonates with me. I have long held the belief that technology is only a tool and it is what we do with it that really matters. I struggle with the value of setting students a task and then mandating the output that proves the task e.g. create a PowerPoint. I try to encourage teachers to offer the task and a rubric and let the students design their own responses in any format that is accessible by the teacher.
In Curriculum meetings there is much frustrating discussion about mandating the way we write courses and the content that we have to teach, but it is impossible to move the discussion to C21st skill sets.
It seems obvious that, as Helen Haste says, students need a new brand of competencies to thrive within a changing environment. I really like Helen’s summative drawing of the potential power of collaboration :
- Collaboration of problem solvers
Her diagram showing problem solver organisation has no arrows because the individual is constantly changing directions according to the process of their problem solving interactions – individual to society and back again.
- This is a continual pyramid not a directional one.
The two definitions are also very powerful:
- dialogic This means that everything anybody ever says always exists in response to things that have been said before and in anticipation of things that will be said in response. In other words, we do not speak in a vacuum.
- dialectic The dialectical method is discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject, who wish to establish the truth of the matter guided by reasoned arguments.
Competence isn’t just about skill but about adaptation.
- managing ambiguity
- Agency and responsibility
- Finding and sustaining community
- Managing emotion
- Managing technological change
It is important for us to teach ambiguity so that students do not feel anxious by not knowing what the right answer is. They need to understand multiple perspectives.
Young people are encountering strangers and even non people in their online connections and we need to assist them with this process.
These competencies are what young people need for the future; they must be mandated within education.
Social change is not linear and everyone needs to work with that fact.
How do we bring our colleagues on board with these types of beliefs so that we are not creating classrooms as Nathaniel Bott describes: in the early part of this clip: “ boredom and disengagement is too big a part of the modern classroom” http://youtu.be/UI9TiuVHc0A ?
This is one of our biggest hurdles as educators.