Wednesday, March 25, 2009

21st Century or Core Knowledge? Do we have to choose?

A member of my Twitter PLN posted a link to this article about the debate between pushing 21st Century skills versus teaching core knowledge. I won't restate the article here. I'll just give my opinion. Opponents of 21C skills are setting up a false dichotomy. It is not an either or proposition. As one of my colleagues said during our discussion of the article today, "You can't do much with knowledge unless you can creatively use it to solve problems and to be creative you need a knowlege foundation."

I don't think anyone who teaches 21C skills has eliminated linear equations, the Louisiana Purchase, or the basics of the human circulatory system. Instead they have taken these topics and used new methods, maybe even expanded the core knowledge of the students because of the critical thinking that may have resulted.

I've got other thoughts that are related, but to keep the post short, I'll post them later. What are your thoughts and experiences on this issue?

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