Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Monday, July 28, 2014


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Today in education we talk about creativity, innovation, critical thinking, collaboration and other key life skills (I refuse to use the term 21st Century skills). These skills represent and focus on a Student centered approach. The learning needs to be real and meaningful for our students today. Technology also plays a big role in that it makes the learning real and hands on.
I ask you what did teachers do before the 21st century? Where these skills and ideas not important?  Did we not need to engage our students?
Too often teachers hear some of the terms I mentioned and think here we go again some new educational buzz words and for some reason that gives them justification to just ignore it and it may go away.
Well I hate to tell you these aren’t buzz words or fads and it’s not going away, I would tend to guess this idea of an engaged and involved learner dates back to Ben Franklin, who is older than any teacher teaching today.

Perhaps if we realize that these skills, these life skills existed before the 21st century and it’s not something new we can incorporate the principles which Benjamin Franklin taught us over 200 years ago. 


  1. I think the bigger question we need to ask ourselves is this- Have we been engaging our students, now or 100 years ago? From my experience as a learner... not by a long shot.

    The good news is that we are working on it. Technology is certainly one way. But inquiring, asking good questions is the foundation that we need to build on. Success has come to individuals like Ben Franklin, and many others, in spite of traditional & formal education.

    You have given me much to ponder my friend.

  2. Thank you
    I agree with your points. Technology is important. I think the point I was trying to make as well is that if we peel away the onion if you will at the core what worked years ago still works it's just the tools we used and the importance of it may have changed.

  3. In my short time in education I have heard about 25,000 "new ideas" to try. I think I see where you are coming from. And it incorporates what Jana is saying too. Despite the fads, we really need to focus on the kids and LISTEN to their questions. Anyone can learn, what we really need to do is foster inquiry so they don't need us in the room to do it. I imagine Mr. Franklin had a lot of natural curiosity. That is the best "fad" imho.