Inevitably almost anything you read today about education will be about 21st Century Skills or differentiated instruction. (I have written about 21st Century skills on this blog a number of times as well). I have heard from teachers the following: Well D.I. is a fad and in a few years there will be something newer and better. Can you really expect me to teach 30 individuals in one class? 21st Century skills are great but how can I make basic math facts exciting, or how can I let students choose what they want to learn.
Some of these points may be valid but they should not be roadblocks to implementation Simply put in today’s classroom D.I. and 21st Century skills = Good Teaching and Learning. However you don’t have to take my word for it. I would like you to take the following quiz. Please answer Yes or No to the following questions:
1. Do you think it is important to make a personal connection with your students?
2. Is it important to know your students strengths, weaknesses, and interests?
3. Do you want your student to be an engaged lifelong learner?
4. Is it important to meet the individual needs of your students?
5. Should one of our goals as teachers be to maximize each student's potential?
6. Should our students be given the tools they need to survive and be successful in the real world?
7. Should our teaching be more that just lecturing and having our student memorize and spit back what we said?
8. Should our students be encouraged to embrace technology and not fear it?
9. Should students play an active role in the learning process?
10. Should our focus as educators be on the students and learning?
(I could go on forever)
If you answered NO to any of these questions, then in my humble opinion you are in the wrong profession. However if you answered YES than Congratulations not only are you in right profession but you have also answered YES to differentiating and to incorporating 21st Century Skills.
Now that we all agree and accept the need for D.I. and 21st Century Skills let’s get started so when we answer the questions next time not only can we say Yes but we can Say We Did It!