Key Competencies for the Future

Key Competencies for the Future

Rosmary Hipkins, Rachel Bolstad, Sally Boyd, and Sue McDowall

NZCER Press

The Key Competencies have always been the bridesmaid to the Learning Areas. It is encouraging that some schools are bringing these to the forefront. Teachers who see themselves as teachers of learning are embracing this future focused pedagogy.

For me, understanding the genesis of the KC’s have given a better understanding of them and why they are important.

One of the things that this book has made me do is blow the dust of my shiny NZC (actually it is dog eared with tabs, notes, and highlights). I have looked at all the Learning Area statements to see how many are learning for now rather than for knowledge that you will use sometime in the future.

I can now see my transition from 21st century learning (a phase I now avoid) to one of being future focussed. This definition on page 29 has provided much clarity: “21st century learning is an emerging cluster of ideas, beliefs, knowledge, theories, and practices that, understood together, can help point us in the right direction”.

Two big ideas need to form a core part of our future-oriented educational thinking. The first is to shift how we view knowledge, and the second is the need to redesign educational approaches so that they are based on what we know about learning. P29

In an Alvin Toffler type question we see “Is the purpose of education to reproduce society, or to transform it”? P128. And further; “What if we saw our professional responsibility as being not only about supporting young people to plan for and create their futures, but supporting the whole system to move towards a new configuration that is more likely to build a better future for ourselves  and our environment”? P132

Using learning-area-specific language, symbols, and texts is about thinking in different ways to access new knowledge and see the world from new perspectives p16. It is not just about numeracy and literacy but about making meaning, this includes critical thinking. p79. However, learning to know and learning to do is not enough we need to learn to be and learn to live with others.

This book sets the challenge of “stepping up to face the unknown and ask questions that you can’t know the answer to yet”… using ‘wicked problems’. It also challenges teachers to step outside their comfort zone and plan to take the students out of theirs. P68

So what have I learned?

This is an ongoing conversation with my transition to being a teacher of learning. By embracing future thinking strategies my students will become better learners.

How will my classroom practice change?

I am starting to use more big-picture problems where the answers can’t be Googled, and the students must work collaboratively producing high quality outcomes solving real problems for an authentic audience.

Phrase Highlights

“Skinny reading and fat reading” p20

“Every worthwhile book has an agenda” p25

 

My notes from my reading:

Using the learning area language, symbols, and texts is about thinking in different ways to access new knowledge and see the world from new perspectives p16

 

We must develop students systems thinking capabilities p60

The ways in which teachers bring students to rich learning experiences and support them p68

Teachers draw on their subject knowledge to shape learning experiences by provoking curiosity and engaging their emotions.

These teachers are willing to step outside their comfort zone as they also plan to take the students out of theirs. P68

Assessment – Evidence of capability is unlikely to emerge from traditional pen and paper

Assessment – Creative assessment thinking is needed to find ways to document students’ action responses to their growing awareness, and insights into, how systems work in the world

Systems thinking is a type of thinking

  • Joining up seemingly unconnected things or events
  • Explore systems as parts and wholes
  • Engaging and exploring students emotions
  • Surfacing students values and assumptions
  • Exploring evidence for claims
  • Exploring different potential choices and solutions

 

Further notes

Using language, symbols, and texts to make meaning includes critical thinking p79

We all need to work together to prepare our young people to be active future makers, not just passive recipients of what fate may bring p93

Critical and collective action requires students to participate and contribute p107 to develop their ability to think ethically and fairly p110

Is the purpose of education to reproduce society, or to transform it? P128

Future building educators must cultivate their own resilience p130

What if we saw our professional responsibility as being not only about supporting young people to plan for and create their futures, but supporting the whole system to move towards a new configuration that is more likely to  build a better future for ourselves  and our environment? P132

Learning to be and learning to live with others learning to know and learning to do

“We all need to work together to prepare our young people to be active future makers, not just passive recipients of what fate may bring” p93

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