Philosophy of Learning
I would argue that the purpose of formal education is to help students develop skill sets needed to successfully engage adulthood within a society that we can neither foresee or predict. In this regard, students must develop the skills to analyze, adjust, and adapt to their environments. I would submit that this is the underlying premise of 21st-century learning. The overarching purpose of 21st education is to provide students with a set of critical skills that will be needed for success in a global market. The Partnership for 21st-century skills identifies these specifically: creativity, collaboration, critical-thinking, and communication. In order to help our children develop these skills to a high level, we must incorporate modalities that are relevant to present times (e.g. social networking, mobile technologies, digital computing, gaming,) and also engage the student with instruction techniques that facilitate learning (e.g. pinwheel discussion, group collaboration, projects). In other words, we need to put the student at the center of the learning and allow them to create their own meanings from authentic learning experiences.