Twenty First Century Learning Skills embody a myriad of synapses building for students in multiple content areas. As educators, how can we ensure our students are prepared to engage in an ever evolving globalized world market? Curriculum not only must cover a breadth of content knowledge and skill, but the application of that knowledge in various cultural contexts, employing creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving skills, collaboration, and empathy in communication.
This is a great deal to cover for one teacher in one subject area! However, it is possible when we ourselves get creative in curriculum planning and allow our students freedom of choice and creativity!
1) When students are allowed room to explore ideas, linger in the research and creative process allowing time for synapses to evolve, are given freedom to choose a self-relevant topic, and are provided a platform for their thoughts to showcase learning, it results in student ownership and engagement.
2) Providing students with a wide range of choice in terms of topic, research and creative process, and presentation style with a defined set of objectives helps students develop imagination and safe risk-taking skills with minimal direction because they have freedom within structure. This promotes self-directed, self-monitoring, and self-reflective learning.
My upper level studio art courses challenge students to draw multiple, cross-curricular
connections from many aspects of our human experiences to practice and execute Twenty First Century Learning Skills. In planning for such a broad reaching curriculum, I have found Weebly.com to be a structured tool to provide students with clearly organized objectives, instructions, resources, examples, rubrics, and student choice. Not to mention the many options for peer critiques.My upper level studio art courses challenge students to draw multiple curricular connections from many aspects of our human experiences to practice and execute Twenty First Century Learning Skills.
Manifestation in Object
The visual arts serve as a platform for me to facilitate student learning about the world, how we interpret it, and how we can powerfully communicate ideas and experiences through visual representations.
In Ceramics II, students move beyond the technical skills of constructing ceramic forms. Students are expected to draw connections between objects, symbols, and concepts to create visual manifestations of social commentary, which communicate to the population on a level that is more powerful than verbal messages alone.
Prepared for the Global Market
Twenty First Century Learning Skills require that students are globally aware, culturally sensitive, and be able to empathetically communicate. The Around-The-World in Ceramics' project pulls interdisciplinary concepts together as students research history, cultural practices, social issues, geography, economics, and religion. As students draw connections between history, a social issue, a historical artist, and a contemporary artist from their chosen country, they broaden their understanding of world cultures, societal issues, and how to respectfully communicate their thoughts with impact.
Through this project students will become more globally aware of geographic divides, cultural practices, and social issues. Students will be better able to participate in an ever increasingly globalized world market compassionately and communicate empathetically as they learn about cultures through their own research and peers' presentations.