Monday, June 28, 2010

21st Century Writing

I'm a little over the 21st Century tag since we are part way through it, but my participation at the ISTE 2010 Conference in Denver this past weekend has made me realize that in many, many ways we aren't teaching in it.  

I am not just talking about the use of technology.  I am talking about thinking about what we want our students to learn and why.  I heard an incredible keynote by Chris Lehmann, principal of SLA in Philadelphia in which he stated the goal of education should be to create a citizenry, not a workforce

To that end, I have long believed that writing is the most important skill that our students have.  Writing empowers them. Yet somehow, we manage to confuse the art of writing with a chore.  Something to be done and not necessarily perfected.

I was reminded while at this conference that NCTE has taken a similar stance on writing: Good writing may be the quintessential 21st century skill.

Recognizing that we are in a time of tremendous change, NCTE notes:
  • Our schools and our nation need to recognize and validate the many ways we all are writing.
  • We need to develop new models of writing, design a new curriculum supporting those models, and create models for teaching that curriculum.
  • We need to make sure that all students have the opportunity to write and learn in intellectually stimulating classrooms.
  • We need to recognize that out-of-school literacy practices are as critical to students’ development as what occurs in the classroom and take advantage of this to better connect classroom work to real-world situations that students will encounter across a lifetime.

The site includes some pretty good reading on teaching writing in the 21st century that I encourage everyone to read. And I'm wondering what teachers need the most to address the points above. I'm also contemplating a new project to address some of what we must begin to do as educators to start to address this need.  I'll keep you posted!

1 comment:

Mrs. Kondrick said...

Hmmm, read a couple articles. Very interesting. I agree writing is so important...but do we teach it enough? no