As a school district, we are talking more and more about developing the four C's of 21st century learning in our students - creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. While not necessarily heady concepts, moving from concept to execution tends to be easier said than done.
In schools, we tend to provide explicit directions for almost every assignment - do you remember hearing instructions like, "work independently and quietly. Please print clearly on plain white sheet of paper. Place your name and date in the upper right hand corner. This material is covered in chapter 12, pages 120-128." How much room is left for creativity? For collaboration? For communication? For critical thinking?
A 21st century classroom looks very different than the classroom of yesterday. No longer is it always quiet and calm. It can be noisy and vibrant. Students move around. Students often work together in groups. The problems the students are being asked to solve are age appropriate yet complex. The classroom of today is one in transition with the goal of developing more creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration in our students.