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21st-Century Teaching This issue of the Teacher PD Sourcebook wont likely resolve the arguments around 21stcentury skills.

But we hope it gives you greater knowledge and inspiration as you navigate your own path as an educator in a time of momentous change.

21st-Century Teaching
By Anthony Rebora

The term 21st-century skillsgenerally used to refer to such competencies as digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem solvingis a loaded one in education today. It often seems to pit advocates of constructivist, technology-enhanced learning against traditionalists who stress the centrality of content knowledge. In thinking about the concept for this issue, however, weve tried to take a less black-and-white approach. The world has changed a great deal in the last two decades, particularly as a result of developments in information technology. We wanted to look at how conscientious teachers and schools are integrating these changes into their classrooms, and how teachers own work is affected. Fittingly, we begin in our From the Field section with a pair of essays by distinguished veteran teachers who reflect on how they are working to enhance their practice in light of the changes in our society and economy. Our Features section opens with an extensive Q&A with Will Richardson, an English teacher-turned-tech expert who believes that innovations in digital technology present a whole newand still largely unrealizeddynamic for K-12 instruction. To get additional perspective on how education is changing (and how its not), we asked 11 prominent educators for their personal definition of the term 21st-century learning. Turning from theory to practice, we explore how one Massachusetts district is cultivating new learning priorities, in large part through specialized professional development and a process of cultural change. Finally, we preview a new book that looks at how the role of teacher leaders might be transformed as a result of technology changes and new models of schooling. This issue wont likely resolve the arguments around 21st-century skills. But we hope it gives you greater knowledge and inspiration as you navigate your own path as an educator in a time of momentous change

Initiatives Foster Discovery-Based Lab Experiences New efforts aim to help science students interact more directly with the natural world.

Initiatives Foster Discovery-Based Lab Experiences


New efforts aim to help science students interact more directly with the natural world.
By Erik W. Robelen

The postings on the National Lab Day website are akin to something you might find through an online dating service. Only these arent from lonely singles looking for a soul mate. Theyre from teachers seeking help with hands-on science projects, whether the expertise of a scientist or engineer or money to help pay for a special activity or lab equipment. The titles give a flavor of what teachers are after: Extreme Science Lab Make Over, from a teacher in Webster, Texas. The Butterfly Garden, from Aurora, Ill. Cells R Us, from Port Charlotte, Fla. Do Science Not View Science, in Summerville, Ga., and Cadaver Lab, in Missoula, Mont.

As part of a National Lab Day project, Chemical Engineering Professor Benjamin Davis of The Cooper Union Albert Nerken School of Engineering works on a chemical experiment with students at the East Side Community High School in New York. Emile Wamsteker

National Lab Day is a public-private initiative (and not a one-day event, despite the name) launched last school year to bring more authentic, hands-on, discovery-based lab experiences to students, according to organizers. Were putting aside the textbook for a little bit, said Jack D. Hidary, an entrepreneur in the finance and technology sectors who is chairing the initiative. Weve got astronomers working with kids. Weve got doctors coming in, ... scientists from NASA. Amid growing national attention to promoting education in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, a number of recent efforts have emerged to address whats seen as a critical component: helping students get access to high-quality laboratory experiences. They range from the advent of National Lab Day, to plans to rethink and enhance the lab component of Advanced Placement courses as part of an ongoing AP science redesign, to an initiative by the nonprofit Center for Excellence in Education to promote new models for fostering effective lab education in up to a dozen states.

Connecting with Scientists Organizers of National Lab Day have worked hard to drum up attention for their initiative, a partnership among federal agencies, foundations, professional societies, and other STEMrelated organizations, such as the National Science Teachers Association, the American Chemical Society, and the National Science Foundation. Launched in conjunction with the actual National Lab Day on May 12 last spring, the website is an ongoing community-building platform for science educators and students. The emphasis of the project is not only on promoting hands-on science, but also on connecting students with professionals to inspire them. Teachers register online and describe the projects theyre looking for help with. Once a request is posted, a teacher is matched with a list of local volunteers and potential funders who have registered and get notified. Volunteers can browse requests online. The site includes searchable lists of both live and archived projects, as well as map of project locations. Hidary, the initiatives chairman, who likens the design of the website to online dating, said: One out of eight marriages are from dating websites. Thinking Like Scientists Several experts also point to the ongoing AP science redesign as a powerful lever for transforming lab education. The College Board, in close consultation with outside experts, is working to redesign AP courses and exams in biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental sciencework that is expected to bring a reformulated and enhanced role for lab education. Overall, the redesign seeks to foster students understanding of science by limiting the breadth of content covered and emphasizing the practice of scientific inquiry and reasoning. The changes would take place no sooner than the 2012-13 academic year.

10th grade science students at the East Side High School in New York look at a water sample during an experiment. Emile Wamsteker

As part of that work, the definition of a lab in AP courses is being expanded and aligned with the vision laid out in a 2005 report

America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science

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by the National Research Council that called for lab experiences that enable students to interact more directly with material world, said Tonya D. Sharpe, the director of AP science at the New York City-based College Board. We use that as our foundation. Lab investigations in AP courses, she said, will be integrated throughout the curriculum, not treated as discrete activities. ... We also have a great emphasis on student-directed and inquiry-based activities. She added: We want students to be able to think like scientists. Building New Lab Models

Meanwhile, the Center for Excellence in Education, a nonprofit organization based in McLean, Va., that, among other activities, organizes the annual USA Biology Olympiad competition for high school students, has plans under way to ratchet up its work promoting high-quality labbased experiences for students. The group is planning to work with eight to 12 states, beginning with Indiana and Virginia, through public-private partnerships to improve lab education. The effort will target key players in each state, from high school educators to universities, corporations, state officials, and others. It will promote promising models of hands-on and virtual-based science education, with an eye toward practices that are cost-effective, replicable, and measurable. We are not doing a cookie-cutter approach, said Joann P. DiGennaro, the ceters president, because one state is not like another. This article originally appeared, in a different form, in Education Week. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 4

Study: Induction Works, With Time Teachers who received two years of comprehensive induction services boosted student scores in reading and math, a study finds.

Study: Induction Works, With Time

Teachers who received two years of comprehensive induction services boosted student scores in reading and math more than teachers in a comparison group who didnt receive the support, a study by the U.S. Department of Educations Institute of Education Sciences

Two Years of Comprehensive Teacher Induction Can Boost Student Achievement Mathematica Study Finds No Impacts on Other Outcomes, Single Year of Intervention Has No Impact Media Advisory: June 30, 2010 Contact: Cheryl Pedersen, (609) 275-2258 Issue: High teacher turnover and poorly prepared teachers, particularly in urban school districts, can hurt student achievement. Many districts offer beginning teachers some form of teacher mentoring or orientation, but often the support is limited. Comprehensive teacher induction programswhich are intensive, instructionally focused, structured, and sequentially delivered through experienced, trained full-time mentorsrepresent one approach to attracting, retaining, and promoting high quality teaching. Study: In 2004, Mathematica Policy Research began conducting a large-scale evaluation of comprehensive teacher induction for the U.S. Department of Educations Institute of Education Sciences. This study aimed to determine whether comprehensive teacher induction improves teacher and student outcomes. This is the studys third and final report on the programs impacts. The study involved 1,009 teachers in 418 elementary schools in 17 medium and large urban school districts in 13 states. Researchers studied induction programs provided by Educational Testing Service of Princeton, N.J. (ETS), and the New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz (NTC). 5

The study design used random assignment to form one group of teachers exposed to the more intensive and comprehensive teacher induction (treatment) and an equivalent group exposed to the districts prevailing set of induction services (control). In 10 districts, the treatment teachers were offered one year of comprehensive services. In the remaining 7 districts, treatment teachers were offered two years of such services. Researchers used longitudinal surveys to measure a cohort of beginning teachers receipt of induction and related support services, attitudes, and mobility patterns. They observed classrooms and collected student test scores from districts to measure impacts in the classroom. During the comprehensive induction program, treatment teachers received more support than control teachers. Neither exposure to one year nor exposure to two years of comprehensive induction had a positive impact on teacher attitudes, retention or the composition of the workforce. For teachers who received one year of comprehensive induction, there was no impact on student achievement. For teachers who received two years of comprehensive induction, there was no impact on student achievement in the first two years. In the third year, there was a positive and statistically significant impact on student achievement, equivalent to increases of 4 percentile points in reading and 8 percentile points in math.


Quote: There is both good news and bad news in this study for policymakers, said Steven Glazerman, senior researcher and lead author of the report. Comprehensive induction, which can be quite expensive, did not help districts retain teachers or make them feel more satisfied or better prepared to teach compared to usual levels of new teacher support. However, the two-year intervention raised test scores, and that is often the bottom line for policymakers. Report: Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Final Results from a Randomized Controlled Study. Steven Glazerman, Eric Isenberg, Sarah Dolfin, Martha Bleeker, Amy Johnson, Mary Grider, Matthew Jacobus, June 2010. Executive Summary. About Mathematica: Mathematica Policy Research, a nonpartisan research firm, provides a full range of research and data collection services, including program evaluation and policy research, survey design and data collection, research assessment and interpretation, and program performance/data management, to improve public well-being. Its clients include federal and state governments, foundations, and private-sector and international organizations. The employee-owned company, with offices in Princeton, N.J., Ann Arbor, Mich., Cambridge, Mass., Chicago, Ill., Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C., has conducted some of the most important studies of education, health care, nutrition, international, disability, family support, employment, and early childhood policies and programs.

finds. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, a Princeton, N.J.-based evaluation firm, the study compares outcomes for teachers who received comprehensive induction provided by trained mentors with those who received typical novice-teacher supports provided by their district. Comprehensive induction programs take a more-structured approach to new-teacher support and include a careful selection of teacher mentors, formative assessments to gauge teacher progress, and release time for mentors to observe their charges and provide feedback on their instruction.

According to the study, after the two years, such programs led to statistically significant improvements on student test scores in both reading and mathematics. Earlier iterations of the study had found that, in the first two years, induction programs had no effect on scores. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page

'Anyone?... Anyone?' A recent annual survey on student engagement has found that U.S. high school students continue to be bored.

'Anyone?... Anyone?'
By Anthony Rebora

A recently released annual survey on student engagement has found that, in the grand American tradition, high school students continue to be bored. The 2009 High School Survey of Student Engagement, 28pp HSSSE_2010_Report.pdf conducted by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University, reveals that 66 percent of the students surveyed said they are bored at least on a daily basis in school, with 17 percent reporting that they are bored in every class. Two percent of the students said they are never bored in school, raising suspicions that they could be Russian spies. (Kidding about that last part.) Perhaps not surprisingly, the factor students most frequently cited as the cause of their boredom was that the material wasnt interesting, with lack of relevance of the material following not too far behind. Some 35 percent of the bored students, however, indicated that the source of their boredom was a lack of interaction with their teacher.

The Engagement Factor

The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy asked high school students to rate the degree to which various types of instructional methods excite or engage them.

SOURCE: Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, "2009 High School Survey of Student Engagement"

Indeed, the report suggests that providing greater interaction of some sort might be at least part of the answer to relieving students malaise. Asked to rate the degree to which various types of classroom work excite or engage them, the students gave the highest positive ratings

to Discussion and Debate (especially when there are no clear answers) and Group Projects. Projects and Lessons Involving Technology also scored well. By contrast, Teacher Lecture received the lowest ratings, with only 26 percent of students responding positively. The students also indicated, with a whopping 82 percent in agreement, that they would welcome more opportunities to be creative at school. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 7

Creating School-Wide Netiquette A California-based educator gives five suggestions for getting students up to speed on healthy Internet behavior.

Creating School-Wide Netiquette

By Elizabeth Rich

If the idea of social networking sends chills down your spine, or if youre concerned about how to stem poor Web etiquette in the classroom, California educator Matt Levinson has a few tips. In his recently published book, From Fear to Facebook: One Schools Journey (ISTE), Levinson uses his own school as a case study to offer suggestions for getting students up to speed on healthy Internet behavior. In an e-mail exchange with the Teacher PD Sourcebook, Levinson acknowledged that computer abusecyberbullying, hacking, plagiarism, and addictive digital behaviors around gamingcan hamstring a school community and create a climate of fear among parents, teachers, and administrators. But he also suggested five steps schools can take to shift the cultural tide from peril to possibility: 1. Listen to Students Schools need to take student concerns and interests seriously, and support an environment where students can be heard.

Web Time
If all U.S. Internet time were condensed into one hour, how would it be distributed?

SOURCE: Nielsen NetView, June 2010

2. Partner with Parents Schools need to work in partnership with parents so that school and home are on the same page when it comes to computer use. 3. Remember That Kids Are Kids Students will make mistakes and test boundaries. They need guidance from their teachers and parents. 4. Keep Learning With Your Students Technology is moving at lightning speed. Parents and teachers set the tone through their willingness to sit next to and learn from students. School communities need to be open to learning about the latest tools with students. 5. Find a Balance Schools must maintain a balance between keeping students safe with digital media, and introducing the imaginative, creative possibilities that digital media generates. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 6

Will the Real Effective Teacher Please Stand Up? What makes some teachers better than others? It depends on which research study you happen to be reading.

Will the Real Effective Teacher Please Stand Up?

By Anthony Rebora

What makes some teachers better than others? Well, it depends on which research study you happen to be reading. A new study
What Teacher Characteristics Affect Student Achievement?
Findings from Los Angeles Public Schools
Abstract Teacher effectiveness is typically measured by traditional teacher qualification standards, such as experience, education, and scores on licensure examinations. RAND researchers found no evidence that these standards have a substantial effect on student achievement in Los Angeles public elementary, middle, and high schools. Alternative measures of teacher qualifications and different kinds of reward systems might be more effective at improving teacher quality. Urban school districts face special challenges in educating youth. Urban schools serve a large number of low-income, at-risk students and tend to employ teachers with qualifications and credentials lower than their peers in more affluent suburban schools. As a result, urban schools are at risk of providing weak instruction for those students who are most in need of opportunities for academic success. To break this cycle, parents, educators, and policymakers have sought to improve teacher quality in urban schools. However, it has been difficult to understand how to raise the overall quality of classroom teaching. Past studies have been unable to account for why some teachers are more successful than others in

raising achievement, and they have not identified any direct links between student achievement scores and specific teacher characteristics, such as experience, level of professional development, and higher-level educational degrees. RAND researchers examined the relationship between teacher quality and student achievement by analyzing five years of math and reading standards tests and other records from students in elementary, middle, and high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). LAUSD is the second-largest public school district in the United States, with K12 enrollments reaching 730,000 students per year in more than 800 schools. The data linked individual students to their classroom teachers each year, allowing the researchers to examine student progress from year to year and across classrooms led by different teachers. The RAND researchers then compared these data with teacher-specific information, such as LAUSD teacher licensure test scores for new teachers and other measures traditionally assumed to indicate teacher effectiveness, such as degrees obtained and years of experience. The results of the study, which were similar for elementary, middle, and high schools, suggest that, while the teacher is an important determinant of a student's achievement, there was no direct connection between the traditionally assumed measures of teacher effectiveness and student achievement over time. While this finding poses a problem for educators and policymakers seeking to enhance teacher quality, it also encourages them to develop other ways to improve teaching in low-performing urban areas. Efforts to Improve Teaching Cannot Rely Entirely on Traditional Measures of Teacher Quality There is little evidence to suggest that the teachers who can increase student achievement are concentrated in a few high-performing schools. Some education reform efforts focus on improving low-performing schools' repertoires of high-quality, effective teachers by redistributing teachers among schools. Using the multilevel data gathered, the researchers assessed whether teachers who are effective at raising test scores are indeed unevenly distributed. They found that the teachers who were effective at raising achievement were in fact evenly distributed across schools in LAUSD and that the teacher effectiveness gap between low- and high-performing schools is only about 1 percentage point. This suggests that simply reshuffling teachers from one school to another is unlikely to produce substantial improvement in student achievement in low-performing schools. Traditional teacher qualifications have little influence on classroom achievement. Teacher pay is typically based on teacher experience and education level, and these characteristics are commonly assumed to correlate with greater teacher effectiveness. Therefore, it is important to assess whether these qualities positively affect student achievement scores to ensure that the reward system is in fact helping school districts attract and retain the teachers who will achieve the desired effects. However, when the researchers analyzed student achievement data along with teacher qualifications, they found that a five-year increase in teaching experience affected student achievement very little less than 1 percentage point. Similarly, the level of education held by a teacher proved to have no effect on student achievement in the classroom. These findings have implications for the way in which teacher quality and effectiveness should be assessed and valued by a school district. Student achievement is unaffected by teacher licensure scores. Licensure tests restrict entry into the teaching profession. Moreover, considerable resources are expended on these exams. The State of California requires new elementary teachers to pass general aptitude, subject-matter, and reading instruction competency tests. If a candidate fails one or all of these examinations on the first attempt, he or she may opt to retake one or all of the examinations in order to obtain licensure. When the researchers compared teacher licensure test results with teacher performance in terms of student test scores, they found no relationship between student achievement and teachers' test scores. The researchers also analyzed whether failing the exam before later passing it was related to student achievement and found no statistically significant link. These findings suggest that the measured basic skills, subject-matter knowledge, and reading pedagogy scores of elementary teachers do not contribute to improved student achievement, implying that new methods of teacher assessment might be needed. Policymakers Should Consider Other Measures to Predict Performance The study offers several policy implications. First, while it is evident that some teachers are much more effective than others in improving student academic achievement, the study's findings suggest that traditional measures of teacher quality do not predict classroom performance. Education experts might wish to rethink the current knowledge requirements of new teachers and develop alternative measures that will more accurately predict classroom performance. Second, it might be promising to reward teachers for their performance rather than for qualifications that are not associated with their ability to improve student achievement. Currently, most compensation systems reward teachers for their years of experience and education. The study's findings suggest, however, that these factors do not accurately predict a teacher's effect on student achievement. The traditional compensation system might provide too little incentive for the more effective teachers to deliver their best performance, and it provides incentives for further education that does not appear to contribute to student performance. While such characteristics as experience and education should remain valued, other incentives, such as pay-for-performance programs, might help further motivate teachers in the classroom.

Read the Full Report 48pp. RAND_RP1410.pdf

from the nonprofit Rand Corporation, for example, examines data from the Los Angeles Unified School District over a five-year period and concludes that there is little correlation between teacher effectiveness (as measured by student test-score progress) and any particular qualifications or credentials. That includes years of experience, education level attained, or licensure test scores. Even failing a licensure exam showed no statistically significant link to a teachers future effectiveness. On the other hand, a newly published study

Study: Teaching Credentials Still Matter

By Debra Viadero on July 21, 2010 10:19 AM| 4 Comments|Recommend


If you listen to a lot of policy discussions on education, chances are that you've heard one scholar or another stand up to talk about how teacher credentials, such as holding a traditional license or having earned a master's degree, don't seem to matter much when it comes to improving student achievement.

Duke University researcher Helen F. Ladd says that there are two problems with those studies. The studies are: 1) old, and 2) focused mostly on elementary school children.

To gather newer data on the impact of teacher credentials and characteristics on high school students' achievement, Ladd and her research partners took a look at scores from the end-of-course exams that all high school students are required to take in North Carolina. They looked in particular at statewide data for four cohorts of 9th and 10th graders for whom they could find and match up data on their teachers. (The final sample included tens of thousands of students.)The bottom line, the researchers found, was that at the high school level, most measurable teacher credentials do indeed matter. And they have a large enough impact on student achievement, Ladd and her colleagues say, to suggest that they ought to figure into policymakers' decisions on how to raise the quality of instruction in schools.

In keeping with previous studies on teacher quality, the North Carolina data show that teaching experience mattersup to a point. After five years on the job, another year of experience didn't seem to make that much more difference. The researchers also found that teachers who had graduated from more-selective colleges spurred bigger learning gains in students than those from less-selective schools.

With regard to master's degrees, the researchers' findings were a bit more nuanced. Teachers who had earned a master's degree before entering the field were no more effective than those without master's degrees. But teachers who got a master's degree after they began teaching were found to do a better job at boosting students' test scores than did their less-educated teaching peers.

Getting a high score on the subject-matter tests that teachers take for certification also was linked to greater student learning gainsespecially in algebra and geometry. Likewise, teachers who were certified in the subject they taught were found to be more effective than those who were not.

The study also found that teachers with a "lateral"or alternativelicense were slightly less effective than teachers with traditional teaching licenses.

Teachers' earning certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards also helped boost students' scores. But what's worth noting here is that the learning gains begin to show up in the year during which teachers are making their applications, which suggests that the process itself may improve teaching.

Now for the bad news: The researchers found, as have previous studies in other states, that teachers who had the "right" test scores and credentials were unevenly distributed among schools. Schools with high concentrations of poverty were more likely than schools serving wealthier populations to have alternatively certified teachers and novices. They were less likely to have teachers with high test scores or degrees from competitive schools. And black males taking Algebra I were about 22 percent more likely than white females to be taught by a beginner.

All of this is worth keeping in mind because many experts are calling for judging teaching effectiveness based mostly on students' test scores. While based on data for just one state, these results suggest other factors may useful markers of teacher quality, too. And It's possible, these researchers say, that the end-ofcourse exam scores used for this study may actually be a better barometer of what goes on in a classroom than the broader exams that students take in earlier grades.

Finally, the researchers turned up some unexpected findings that puzzled and disturbed them. The data showed that black teachers teaching white students and male teachers teaching female students were linked to negative effects on student achievement.


"We find those results quite distressing and worthy both of more research and, assuming they hold up in other studies, more attention by school officials," Ladd writes in an e-mail response to my query on that last point. "We would not recommend rearranging teachers and students to avoid those pairings, but rather would support efforts to minimize the adverse effects in the future."

The full study is in the current issue of the Journal of Human Resources, which is a subscriber-only publication. But an earlier version of the study can also be found on the website for the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, better known as CALDER.

by Duke University researcher Helen F. Ladd cross-checks North Carolina high school students scores on required end-of-course exams against their teachers records and finds thathold on a secondteachers credentials matter quite a bit. Test-score boosts, this study finds, are associated with everything from whether a teacher has a masters to where he or she went to college to how well he or she was scored on subject-area certification tests. Glad thats all cleared up. Moral of the story: When it comes to improving teacher quality, make sure you check more than one source. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 11

World-Wise Classrooms How well does your school teach "global competency"?

World-Wise Classrooms
By Anthony Rebora

Few adults would disagree that todays students need to be prepared for an increasingly global worlda world that is vastly more interconnected and internationally competitive than it was even 10 years ago. Indeed, global awareness is one of the key competencies advocated by proponents of the 21st-century skills movement. And yet raising international knowledge does not appear to be among many U.S. schools strong suits. According to a 2009 survey

Survey Shows Teacher Satisfaction Climbing Over Quarter Century

By Anthony Rebora

Teachers views on their profession have become markedly more positive over the past quartercentury, at least partially validating the widespread school improvement efforts of the period, concludes a retrospective-survey report released this week by MetLife Inc. The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Past, Present, and Future 191pp.

teacher-survey-25th-anniv-2008.pdf is the companys 25th annual survey of educators. The


series was begun in 1984, a year after the catalytic A Nation at Risk report by the National Commission on Excellence in Education, as a way of capturing teachers unique and sometimes overlooked perspectives on the conditions in schools and the impact of reform initiatives. (The MetLife Foundation also provides funding to teachermagazine.org, a sister publication of Education Week.)
SEE ALSO Read stories from Education Week's yearlong series examining the impact of A Nation at Risk.

The current report, based in part on telephone interviews of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 teachers conducted by Harris Interactive, offers a composite look at how those perspectives have changed over the past 2 decades. The survey method, according to MetLife, has been consistent over that period. The sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. For the most part, according to the report, the trend lines are encouraging, even surprising in some cases. The proportion of teachers saying they are very satisfied with their careers increased from 40 percent in 1984 to 62 percent in 2008, while more teachers today (66 percent) feel respected by society than did their counterparts back then (47 percent).

A Decent Salary
Perception of Rigor
Teachers today say that academic standards are higher than in 1984.

SOURCE: Metlife Inc.

Perhaps even more provocatively, the percentage of teachers agreeing that they can earn a decent salary has nearly doubled since 1984, to 66 percent, and far more teachers today (75 percent, compared with 45 percent in 1984) say they would recommend a career in teaching to a young person. In addition, two-thirds of todays teachers affirm that they were well prepared for the profession, compared with 46 percent in 1984. Teachers also feel better equipped now than in past years when it comes to addressing student-learning challenges such as poverty, limited English-language proficiency, and lack of parental support, according to the report.


Even regarding the availability of materials and supplies in schoolsa notoriously sore subject among teachersthe numbers have improved: The proportion of teachers rating their access to such resources as excellent, while still not reaching a majority, has doubledto 44 percent since 1984. I was surprised at how positive the report is, Mary Brabeck, the dean at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, said during a Feb. 25 panel discussion in Washington organized by MetLife. She added that the findings could bring a lot of hope to educators who often hear only the bad news about their profession.

Ongoing Challenges
Despite the generally positive trajectory of teachers responses over the years, however, MetLifes data also underscore persistent disparities among schools and mounting challenges facing the countrys public education system. For example, teachers in urban and secondary schools, especially those with high concentrations of low-income students, are significantly less likely than their peers in suburban and elementary schools to rate the academic standards in their schools as excellent, according to the report. Urban teachers are also considerably less positive than their suburban counterparts on the availability of teaching materials in their schools and the degree of parental support their students receive. Pointing to significant demographic shifts, meanwhile, the percentage of teachers responding that limited English proficiency hinders learning for a quarter or more of their students has doubled since 1992, from 11 percent to 22 percent, with the level reaching 30 percent for urban teachers. In addition, nearly half of todays teachers (up from 41 percent in 1992) say that poverty limits the day-to-day capabilities of at least a quarter of their students. The number of teachers saying that students learning abilities in their classes are so varied that they cant teach effectively has also risen, according to the report, from 39 percent in 1988 to 43 percent now. Fewer than half of teachers (48 percent), meanwhile, say that the now-pervasive standardized tests are an effective way to monitor student performance, down from 61 percent in 1984. The teachers responses also reveal some potentially major cracks in the overall quality of U.S. students education. While a majority of teachers say their students skills in reading, writing, and math are excellent or good, for example, significantly smaller percentages of secondary teachers than elementarylevel teachers feel that way.


And, in an increasingly global economy, nearly two-thirds of teachers rate their students as only fair or poor in their knowledge of other nations and cultures, and more than half rate their students as fair or poor in foreign languages. The report also highlights apparent communication problems between teachers and principals and discrepancies in the groups views on a number of issues, including school disciplinary policies, parent-involvement levels, and the use of teachers time.

Digital Changes
Casting its view forward, the MetLife report also touches on a number of instructional issues that have gained prominence since the surveys began, particularly involving the potential of new technologies to expand teachers resources and capabilities. In general, the survey finds, 90 percent of teachers agree that technology improves their instruction. About half of teachers now use computer software to track data on student progress, and 62 percent use the Internet at least once a week to find teaching resources. Nearly 40 percent have taken an online course for professional credit or a degree program. The report cautions, however, that most teachers appear not to have made use of the interactive potential of the Web for professional purposes. Fully 72 percent of teachers say they have never read or written a blog on teaching, and only three in 10 report having communicated online (by e-mail or instant messaging, for example) with a teacher outside their district. Only a small minority of teachers15 percenthave made use of an online community or social-networking site related to education, the report notes. Anthony Rebora is the managing editor of teachermagazine.org. Vol. 28, Issue 23, Page 12

published by MetLife Inc., to take just one example, nearly two-thirds of teachers rated their students as only fair or poor in their knowledge of other nations and cultures. By the same token, students rated their teachers ability to teach them about foreign nations and cultures lowest among the major categories of knowledge and skills. That is not good synergy.

Web Resources for Global Learning

Africa Access: A nonprofit education organization that collects and organizes resources on Africa for schools and libraries. Includes an activity center with research projects. Council on Foreign Relations: This nonpartisan think tank offers issues briefs on international affairs and regional news pages, plus a host of reports and interactive resources.


ePals Global Community: This site facilitates inter-school online collaboration projects, with member classrooms in 200 countries and territories. The GLOBE Program: This science-focused site facilitates collaboration among students, teachers, and scientists on inquiry-based investigations of the environment and Earth. International Children Digital Library: A digital library of world literature for children. Kids Around the World: A project of the National Peace Corps Association, this site uses multimedia to introduce U.S. elementary school children to the lives of children of the same age in developing countries around the world. World Almanac for Kids: Compiles kid-friendly facts and data on the world and its people and nations. Includes a games section. A feature for parents and teachers is under development. World Banks Youthink: Provides research and resources geared towards kids on international development. Includes classroom activities and an interactive-collaboration feature. Words Without Borders: This online magazine publishes translations of contemporary international literature. A section especially for educators is under development. Worlds of Words: An online collection of international childrens literature. Search by region and age. SOURCE: Asia Society.

It is to address such trend lines that the Asia Society, a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote international understanding, recently published a report titled Ready for the World: Preparing Elementary Students for the Global Age. Fostering Global Competency Among other things, the report aims to help schools and teachers get started in moving toward a more international orientation by defining the basic principles of what it calls global competency in learning. Heres the run-down of those principles: Investigating the world. Students should have the capacity to be aware and take an active interest in the world and international experiences. This includes, for example, formulating and exploring globally significant questions that address foreign peoples and cultures. Recognizing and weighing perspectives. Globally competent students understand that others may not share their own perspective on an issue, and they are able to identify influences on the development of different perspectives. Communicating ideas. Todays students should be prepared to communicate (both verbally and nonverbally) with diverse audiences characterized by differences in culture, region, faith, and socioeconomic status. They should also be able to speak at least one language in addition to English.


Taking action. By virtue of their growing knowledge of the world, students should also feel empowered to make a difference in it. They should be able to understandwhere and how they might be able have an impact in the world and engage in service projects responsibly. Acquiring and applying disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge. Students should be able to use the content knowledge they acquire in math, science, literature, and history to better understand and inquire into international events and cultural issues. Seem like a lot to take on? Mary Ellen Bafumo, an education professor at the State University of New York-New Paltz who is the primary author of the Asia Societys report, says that one of the best ways to get started in fostering a global mindset is simply to incorporate a daily emphasis on current events. Its amazing how five minutes a day on whats going on that we all should know about can transform student thinking, she says. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 10

Creating School-Wide Netiquette

By Elizabeth Rich

If the idea of social networking sends chills down your spine, or if youre concerned about how to stem poor Web etiquette in the classroom, California educator Matt Levinson has a few tips. In his recently published book, From Fear to Facebook: One Schools Journey (ISTE), Levinson uses his own school as a case study to offer suggestions for getting students up to speed on healthy Internet behavior. In an e-mail exchange with the Teacher PD Sourcebook, Levinson acknowledged that computer abusecyberbullying, hacking, plagiarism, and addictive digital behaviors around gamingcan hamstring a school community and create a climate of fear among parents, teachers, and administrators. But he also suggested five steps schools can take to shift the cultural tide from peril to possibility: 1. Listen to Students Schools need to take student concerns and interests seriously, and support an environment where students can be heard.

Web Time
If all U.S. Internet time were condensed into one hour, how would it be distributed?


SOURCE: Nielsen NetView, June 2010

2. Partner with Parents Schools need to work in partnership with parents so that school and home are on the same page when it comes to computer use. 3. Remember That Kids Are Kids Students will make mistakes and test boundaries. They need guidance from their teachers and parents. 4. Keep Learning With Your Students Technology is moving at lightning speed. Parents and teachers set the tone through their willingness to sit next to and learn from students. School communities need to be open to learning about the latest tools with students. 5. Find a Balance Schools must maintain a balance between keeping students safe with digital media, and introducing the imaginative, creative possibilities that digital media generates. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 6

Will the Real Effective Teacher Please Stand Up?

By Anthony Rebora

What makes some teachers better than others? Well, it depends on which research study you happen to be reading. A new study from the nonprofit Rand Corporation, for example, examines data from the Los Angeles Unified School District over a five-year period and concludes that there is little correlation between teacher effectiveness (as measured by student test-score progress) and any particular qualifications or credentials. That includes years of experience, education level attained, or licensure test scores. Even failing a licensure exam showed no statistically significant link to a teachers future effectiveness. On the other hand, a newly published study by Duke University researcher Helen F. Ladd cross-checks North Carolina high school students scores on required end-of-course exams against their teachers records and finds thathold on a secondteachers credentials matter


quite a bit. Test-score boosts, this study finds, are associated with everything from whether a teacher has a masters to where he or she went to college to how well he or she was scored on subject-area certification tests. Glad thats all cleared up. Moral of the story: When it comes to improving teacher quality, make sure you check more than one source. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 11

Technical Difficulties Despite being younger and fresh out of teacher-training programs, less experienced teachers are no more likely to use technology in the classroom than their more experienced colleagues, according to a study.

Technical Difficulties
By Ian Quillen

Despite being younger and fresh out of teacher-training programs, less experienced teachers are no more likely to use technology in the classroom than their more experienced colleagues, according to a study. The finding, one of five myths the study refutes about teachers and technology, challenges the assumption that growing up technology-literate translates into being comfortable using technology as a teachingor learningtool. The study is based on a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 K-12 teachers, principals, and assistant principals. The survey was conducted by Grunwald Associates of Bethesda, Md., in partnership with Walden University.

Teacher Tech Use and 21st-Century Skills Instruction

According to a nationwide survey, teachers who described themselves as frequent technology users were more likely to place a greater emphasis on so-called 21st-century skills instruction and to perceive a stronger effect from student technology use on the development of these skills.
SOURCE: Walden University, "Educators, Technology and 21st-Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths"

The researchers also found that administrators and teachers often differ about how best to support technology use in schools; that teachers dont feel they receive enough professional development to help them effectively integrate available technology into their classrooms; and


that teachers who are frequent users of technology are more likely to emphasize instruction in so-called 21st-century learning skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking (see graphic). Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 8

Whos Teaching Whom? The idea of having students as teachers is gaining currency, thanks to organizations that aim to give students a greater role in school technology implementation and instruction. From the Field

Whos Teaching Whom?

By Bryan Toporek

Sure, tradition may say that the teacher is the one who does the instructing and the student is the one who learns. But what happens when, on occasion, the tables are turned? That idea is gaining some currency, thanks in part to organizations like GenYES and the New York-based United Network of Student Leaders that aim to give students a greater role in school technology implementation and instruction. The logic is simple. Students in todays schools have grown up in a world of rapidly changing technology, even as many teachers may be struggling to incorporate Web 2.0 tools into the classroom. So, if youre trying to figure out how to develop an online video project for a particular unit, who better to help you than the YouTube experts sitting right in front of you? Proponents say that, for teachers, student-led classroom-tech projects can be a cheaper, more job-embedded alternative to formal professional development. Meanwhile, students' involvement in planning and curriculum development can increase their ownership of the material, strengthen their problem-solving skills, and, with the guidance of the teacher, help them better understand the applicability of their skills to real-world projects. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 7

Adapting Teaching to a New Era A high school English teacher reads up on 21st-century learning.

Adapting Teaching to a New Era

A high school English teacher reads up on 21st-century learning.
By David B. Cohen


This summer, like many teachers, I put in some long hours reflecting on my teaching practice and looking for ways to improve it. One part of my learning involved reading 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times,

A rich collection of the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills can be found on the P21 Web site including detailed explanations and white papers on the skills and educational supports in the P21 framework, research studies, publications and policy reports, the results of national surveys, and a description of the work going on in a number of U.S. states to integrate 21st century skills into the fabric of everyday learning. A special repository of resources, called Route 21 provides a onestop shop for 21st century skillsrelated information, resources, and community tools. You are encouraged to rate the resources you use in Route 21 and to add new resources you find useful in teaching, learning, and developing 21st century skills. The goal is for Route 21 to be a universal collection of the most useful and effective resources available on 21st century learning.

The following are online resources the authors have found informative and useful in their work on 21st century learning. This list is not intended to be exhaustiveit is merely a selection of organizations and programs the authors have found helpful in moving aspects of the 21st century skills movement forward.

Chapter TwoThe Perfect Learning Storm: Four Converging Forces

A number of hightech corporations are making substantial philanthropic investments in global programs to attract students to technical fields and to train and certify them in technical skills, building some of the essential knowledge work skills needed in the 21st century. These socalled academy programs provide teachers, professors, and technical institute staff the training, technology tools, and curricular resources to bring their students up to certificationlevel competence in a variety of technical and business fields. Three notable examples of these academy programs:

The Cisco Networking Academy The Oracle Academy The Microsoft IT Academy

Chapter ThreeLearning and Innovation Skills

One useful online guide to resources that develop critical thinking and problem solving can be found at the Foundation for Critical Thinking. There are a wealth of online resources for problem- and project-based learning that build skill in problem solving and critical thinking. Here are a few we find most helpful:

The Illinois Math and Science Academys Problem Based Learning Network (PBL Net) The University of Delawares ProblemBased Learning resources and clearinghouse The George Lucas Educational Foundations Edutopia resources on project learning

Chapter FourDigital Literacy Skills

Information Literacy

Among a wealth of information literacy sources, one stands out as particularly informative and usefulthe collection of online resources from the American Association of School Librarians. These standards for 21st century learners and the accompanying resource materials clearly outline the skills needed to be an informationliterate student, teacher, and librarian in our times. Media Literacy There are a number of helpful media literacy online resources. Weve found these particularly useful:

The Center for Media Literacy The Media Channel, a global community of over a thousand media education organizations


The Media Clearinghouse Common Sense Media ICT Literacy

The following organizations, though based in the United States, have an international presence and work toward the effective application of information and communication technologies in all aspects of education:

The International Society for Technology in Education The Consortium for School Networking The Association for Educational Communications and Technology Educause, an organization promoting technology integration in higher education The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has a sector focused on ICT literacy for teachers One particularly strong U.S. organization that has produced a series of exemplary white papers called Class of 2020Action Plan for Education, which may be useful for other countries, can be found at the State Education Technology Directors Association Web site

Chapter FiveCareer and Life Skills

Social and CrossCultural Interaction

An important resource for developing prosocial skills is the organization Educators for Social Responsibility The Asia Society has a wealth of resources on international and cross-cultural education. Productivity and Accountability In addition to the many programs and courses for new and inservice teachers at education colleges around the world, a number of corporations and foundations are also investing in the professional development of primary and secondary teachers. Many of these programs provide practicing teachers the training to integrate both technology tools and 21st century skills into their teaching methods. Here are a few prominent examples of these teacher development programs:

The Intel Teach Program Microsofts Partners in Learning program Oracle Education Foundations Professional Development programs Apples Professional Development program The Pearson Foundations Digital Arts Alliance program The Buck Institutes Project Based Learning Academies Leadership and Responsibility

One example of the many programs that help students develop their leadership and responsibility skillsin this case in an international contextis the Model UN program, where students simulate United Nations council meetings to resolve an international crisissee www.nmun.org.

Chapter EightRetooling Schooling

Support Systems

An international organization that is pioneering large-scale assessments of some of the 21st century skills is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). From Skills to Expertise: Future Learning Frameworks

The vision of whole learning for the whole child has been well developed by the ASCD organization and its global networks and affiliates. Information about the Whole Child initiative can be found at www.ascd.org

by Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel. Both Trilling and Fadel have served on the board of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a consortium of companies and organizations promoting


a new vision of American education oriented around recent transformations in society and workplaces. As I read the book, I experienced something I often feel when I immerse myself in new ideas in educationthe sense that, in my own practice, Im making progress and falling behind at the same time. Fortunately, one of the authors, Bernie Trilling, happens to be a parent at my school, and I was able to sit with him for a long conversation about the book and how teachers can grow in understanding and integrating 21st-century skills without being overwhelmed by the changes.

Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel's book on 21st-century skills spurred the author to reflect on his teaching practice.

First, it is important to recognize that Trilling and Fadels book was not written exclusively for teachers. You will not find many reproducible black-line masters to adapt for classroom use. In his conversation with me, Trilling described the books intended audience as educators at every level, parents, the business community, and the broader, educated public. Teachers will benefit from the books specific examples of 21st-century learning in practice, but should approach the book with the understanding that it is more a conceptual work than a how-to manual. In recent years, Trilling, who is the global director for the Oracle Education Fund, has spoken to many audiences about 21st-century learning. He believes that there is a fairly broad consensus around the general thrust of the concept. That consensus can be seen through a discussion exercise that Trilling likes to use in his presentations. The exercise consists of four questions (paraphrased here) that are also included in the introduction to the book: What will the world be like when our students are out of school and well into careers and adulthood? What skills will they need to succeed in those careers and as citizens of that world?


What were the conditions that made possible the most powerful learning experiences in your life? What would it look like if we transformed schools and teaching to provide students with an education based on the answers to the first three questions? When using these questions to start discussions, Trilling says he finds broad agreement among audiences that our students will need to be lifelong learners who are able to reinvent themselves as workers and adapt to accelerated changes in the world. And they will need to be able to think critically and analyze and synthesize information (coming at them in everincreasing volume) quickly and effectively.

David Cohen teaching his 9th grade English class at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, California. Ramin Rahimian

When individuals describe their most positive learning experiences, Trilling says, they usually talk about practical, authentic experiences with open-ended outcomes and real risks of failure. There is a place for academic exercises and examinations, he adds, but ultimately students and adults learn the most from doing important work that has meaning beyond school and allows them to be creative and adaptive. Turning to the question of what schools and teaching should look like today, Trillings interlocutors tend to say we need to create more opportunities for students to work together on real-world problems; to become more adaptable and resourceful; and to prepare for a world in which information is increasingly accessible and unrestrained. The Big Picture Thinking about my own practices relative to the books core arguments, I can see that Ive made progress. My students use literature to understand fundamental questions about human experience, history, their nation, and culture. I give them the time and flexibility to investigate these questions, consider some possible answers, and come up with responses of their own. They use a variety of technology platforms to communicate with each other, with me, and with remote sources, and also to organize and present information. And yet, that tension wont go


awaythe sense that I need a significant upgrade in skills and resources to ensure that those types of learning experiences are the norm rather than the highlights of my class. How do I integrate 21st-century learning concepts into my instruction and still operate within the systemic constraints of the classroom, school, district, and state? Given the structures, resources, and baggage of an existing school or system, working towards a new vision of teaching can be intimidating. We often find ourselves engaged in years of debate over a change in the math curriculum or the school schedule. How do we even begin to address larger changes that fundamentally alter the roles of teachers and students? Trilling recognizes that education is often mired in bureaucracy and politics, but he emphasizes a key point to help educators keep a broader picture in our sights. He argues that the movement towards 21st-century learning in education is actually inevitableits just the way society and businesses are moving. The question is how long the shift will take, and how underserved our students and economy will be if we delay the transition. In a way, thats a liberating ideaa shift from if to when. The guiding question for educators and administrators, according to Trilling, becomes How does this policy or practice help students develop these skills? When the answer is difficult to determine, the policy or practice needs to be rethought. Where to Start Of course, for many teachers, there is also a saturation point, a time when it feels like theres simply no more room for new ideas, even good ones. Many of us operate in survival mode, where the demands of the job constantly exceed our capacity, and we do the best we can just to manage. So when someone comes along and starts talking about changing the way we do everything, theres a combination of fatigue, fear, and resistance that can prevent us from embracing the new. If 21st-century learning were just a matter of technology, that might be manageable. I hope teachers are becoming more comfortable using new technologies in their instructional and professional lives. But technology is only one part of the shift.


In their book, Trilling and Fadel present a 21st-century learning Knowledge-and-Skills Rainbow that, in addition to Information, Media and Technology Skills, includes Life and Career Skills (e.g., leadership and cross-cultural adaptability), Learning and Innovation Skills (e.g., problem-solving and collaboration), and core subject knowledge. The challenge then is not simply to integrate the latest technology into classrooms, but to help students develop intellectual habits that prepare them for a future in which almost everything is more accessible, complex, global, flexible, and fast-moving. I asked Trilling if he had some advice for teachers about how to start if the whole prospect of 21st-century skills seems overwhelming. His answer did not involve technology, and wouldnt necessarily cost anything. Try one project, he suggested, one long-term activity where students work together to create a response to a complex and real problem. And there was one last piece of advice Trilling offered that I agree with wholeheartedly: Teachers must do a better job of publicly advocating for change. Our students are capable of greatness, and they deserve a school system that has the priorities and resources to prepare them for the future. The best way to motivate communities to support education improvement is to make sure people see the good work were doing and understand how much better off the whole community will be if schools, like the rest of society, evolve from an industrial model to one that is reflective of the times in which we live. David B. Cohen is a member of the Teacher Leaders Network and a National Board-certified teacher in Palo Alto, California, where he teaches high school English and serves as an academic adviser. He helps to direct Accomplished California Teachers and writes for the group's blog, InterACT. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 12

Classroom Assessments for a New Century


One teacher's quest to move beyond the bubble test. Features

Classroom Assessments for a New Century

One teacher's quest to move beyond the bubble test.
By Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Coming of age in the 1970s and 1980s, I thought of school as a parallel universe. There was school life, which happened between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., and there was real life, which was everything that happened outside of those hours. These two separate worlds did not relate to one another. I couldnt see how the skills I was learning in the classroom aligned with those I thought were necessary to live beyond the school walls. In the 21st century, we can no longer afford this disconnect. To help students become collegeand career-ready, we need to teach them how to apply what they are learning in school to the practical and intellectual tasks in their everyday lives. We need to teach them new skills that will help them thrive in an increasingly interconnected and fast-changing world. School, in other words, can no longer just be academic.

Heather Wolpert-Gawron, a language arts teacher, works with her 7th graders at Jefferson Middle School. Jamie Rector

In the 21st century, we are facing a global economy where information travels at the speed of light and knowledge of how to harness and sift through that information has become vital to our personal and national well-being. As an educator, I know my students must graduate from our halls ready to function in this expanded world. However, in education, as we know, the tail that wags the dog is the standardized test. Standardized tests dictate our curriculum. And unfortunately, these assessments remain submerged in the bubble test format made popular in the mid-1930s when, according to Time magazine, the automated test scanner first appeared. In truth, this method of testing may assess content knowledge, but not what will soon be more important: the ability to communicate that content and problem-solve.


The question is: Until those tests go away or are transformed, can we, the classroom teachers, cater to two mastersthe predictable testing format and the skills we know ethically we must teach our students to prepare them for their futures? I believe we can. Behind Classroom Doors The key here is in what we do behind our own classroom doors. We may have to live with these bubble tests, but we need to make sure that our own classroom assessments are aligned with the skills our students will need in the future. We can go ahead and continue to teach content knowledge to prepare our students for their bubble tests, but we should develop assessments that challenge their ability to apply that content. Instead of a multiple-choice question that asks what the theme of a story is, for example, we might have students describe how that theme applies to real life. Instead of a multiple-choice question about a particular date in history, we might have our students find a similar current event and relate it to past events. Instead of a multiple-choice question to answer an equation about the area of a figure, we might have students apply that equation to a local architectural structure and describe why knowing its dimensions is important. Learning today isnt just about subject knowledge. Its more about methodology and how to apply that knowledge. When I plan my lessons, I begin with the list of new skills I want to teach and design assessments to match those skills. I then backward-plan the lessons to align them with the assessments.

Here are some other ideas to jump-start your use of 21st-century assessments: Collaborate: Have students create a wiki to promote a book that your class is reading. Or use videoconferencing tools to help them conduct small-group work with students outside your own classroom. Use rubrics to assess students collaborative abilities. Have students assess themselves and each others contributions to determine an individual and a group grade. Connect through writing: Have your students write and moderate a discussion-thread online using a secure blogging program like kidblog.org. Pick a topic for your classroom that can be sustained so that the conversation goes on long after the school bell rings. Have students provide links in their text so they can share further research on the topic. Their blog can be assessed as a writing piece, but their ability to comment and give advice should count equally.


Persuade: Have students research a local social cause, create a Facebook fan page to promote its importance, and do an oral presentation for the school board or local community members. Advocacy of any kind is a skill that students can put to future use. You should assess them each step of the wayin their written pitches to you, in their visual or online ads for their peers, and in their oral presentations. You could even have the students design the rubrics themselves ahead of time and come to a consensus about what exceeds and what doesnt satisfy expectations. Summarize and synthesize: Have students create an executive summary about a local cause that could be e-mailed to policymakers and community leaders. Have them insert pictures and links to resources and to video footage in their packet to provide further information about their cause. Their PR package then becomes its own assessment: a multi-genre piece of written fact, anecdote, visual guides, and links. Use critical thinking: Keep assignments open-ended so that students are allowed choice of presentation and format. Let them decide what strategies best define the project. Student choice is the best differentiation available, and it also reflects a more authentic real-life experience. After all, there is choice outside of school, and we should mirror those opportunities inside school. Also, teach students how to ask deeper questions as a means to assess strong comprehension. (For more information, research Costas Levels of Questioning,

Costa's Levels of Inquiry

Inquiry is an important aspect of curriculum. Inquiry-based learning focuses on the student as learner, developing skillful, open-ended questioning skills. Being able to recognize different levels of questions is beneficial for all students in many areas of learning. Understanding the three levels of questions explained below, designed by Art Costa, is critical for student success.

Level One Questions (Text Explicit)

Readers can point to one correct answer right in the text. Words found in these questions include:

Level 1 statement
Define irony. (English) Identify the starting date of the American Revolution. (History) Define tangent. (Math) Define photosynthesis. (Science)

defining observing describing naming identifying reciting noting listing

Level Two Questions (Text Implicit)


Level 2 Statement

Readers infer answers from what the text implicitly states, finding answers in several places in the text. Words found in these questions include:

Compare and contrast Mr. Frank and Mr. Van Daan in Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl. (English) Analyze the causes of the American Revolution. (History) Compare the square root of 49 to the square root of 64. Which is greater? (Math) Diagram and order the stages of photosynthesis. (Science)

analyzing grouping synthesizing comparing/contrasting inferring sequencing

Level Three Questions (Experience Based)

Readers think beyond what the text states. Answers are based on readers prior knowledge/experience and will vary. Words found in these questions include:

Level 3 Statement

Predict how Charlie Gordon will change after his operation in Flowers for Algernon. (English) Imagine you were a soldier fighting in the Civil War. How would you feel? (History) Apply the Pythagorean theorem to the find the measurement of this triangle. (Math) Diagram the stages of photosynthesis and predict how long each takes. (Science)

evaluating judging applying a principle speculating imagining predicting hypothesizing

which describe three levels of questioning for inquiry-based learning.) Another possibility: Have students create a survey using a service like surveymonkey.com. Have them pose a series of questions for peers to answer oriented around the content theyre studying. Assess the survey based on the quality of questions asked and the variety of formatstrue or false, open-ended, multiple-choice, or short answerthey used. Problem-solve: Allow students to use their classroom tests formatively. Have them reflect on answers they missed by creating working portfolios. Have them record their reflections on why they answered how they did and why the correct answer is right. Have them describe their realizations in writing. Have them graph their overall improvement from quarter to quarter. Give them the opportunity to improve their initial scores by turning in their reflections for credit. I challenge you to make these 21st-century skills and assessments a focus in your classroom. Roll up your sleeves and arm yourself with the knowledge of whats to come so that our students will have the skills to thrive once they leave us. You have chosen to work in a


profession that is meant to prepare children for their future. Despite what our current standardized tests look like, keep your students future in mind: Close your door, dig in, and prepare them. Heather Wolpert-Gawron is a middle school teacher and blogger. A member of the Teacher Leaders Network, she is a Fellow of the California Writing Project, author of Internet Literacy Grade 6-8, and the forthcoming 'Tween Crayons and Curfews: Tips for Middle School Teachers, scheduled for release in early 2011. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 16

Change Agent Will Richardson, a former teacher-turned-tech expert, says schools need to revolutionize teaching and learning to keep pace with societal changes.

Change Agent

Will Richardson at work, speaking to faculty members at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, N.J. Emile Wamsteker

Will Richardson, a former teacher-turned-tech expert, says schools need to revolutionize teaching and learning to keep pace with societal changes.
By Anthony Rebora

Will Richardson was a high school English and journalism teacher in New Jersey for nearly 20 years. During the early part of this decade, he began experimenting with the use of interactive


Web tools in the classroom and was soon transfixed by their potential for increasing students engagement and exposing them to new resources and outlets for expression. His experiences led him to write Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (Corwin). Now in its third edition, the book has sold more than 60,000 copies and become one of the most influential books available on integrating Web 2.0 technology in the K-12 classroom. Richardson is now an educational-technology consultant and co-founder of Powerful Learning Practice, a professional development provider devoted to fostering online community for teachers. Both in his speaking engagements and on his blog, Weblogg-ed, Richardson argues that schools need to transform their models of teaching and learning to reflect broad changes in information technology and new intellectual demands and opportunities presented by global online networks. Youve written that too many teachers are un-Googleable. What do you mean by that and why does it matter? What I mean is that too few teachers have a visible presence on the Web. The primary reason this matters is that the kids in our classrooms are going to be Googledthey're going to be searched for on the Webover and over again. That's just the reality of their lives, right? So they need models. They need to have adults who know what it means to have a strong and appropriate search portfolioI call it the G-portfolio. But right nowand this is my ongoing refraintheres no one teaching them how to learn and share with these technologies. There's no one teaching them about the nuances involved in creating a positive online footprint. It's all about what not to do instead of what they should be doing. The second thing is that, if you want to be part of an extended learning network or community, you have to be findable. And you have to participate in some way. The people I learn from on a day-to-day basis are Googleable. Theyre findable, they have a presence, theyre participating, theyre transparent. Thats what makes them a part of my learning network. If youre not out thereif youre not transparent or findable in that wayI cant learn with you. Why do you think many teachers are not out there on the Web? I think its a huge culture shift. Education by and large has been a very closed type of profession. Just let me close my doors and teachyou hear that refrain all the time. Ive had people come up to me after presentations and say, Well, Im not putting my stuff up on the Web because I dont want anyone to take it and use it. And I say, But thats the whole point. I love what David Wiley, an instructional technology professor at Brigham Young University, says: Without sharing, there is no education. And its true. We really have to beor at least should besharing our stuff freely, and in doing so making new connections and working in these communities and networks that can really enhance our own learning. Thats just what the world looks like right now. But its just a very different kind of culture and approach to learning


than has traditionally prevailedand still prevailsin schools. A lot of educators just dont see the opportunities. What could a school administrator do to help teachers make that shift? Say you were a principal? What would you do? Well, first of all, I would be absolutely the best model that I could be. I would definitely share my own thoughts, my own experiences, and my own reflections on how the environment of learning is changing. I would be very transparent in my online learning activity and try to show people in the school that its OK, that it has value. I think its very hard to be a leader around these types of changes without modeling them.

Richardson advises educators on how they can leverage the internet, and social media sites in particular, as an integral part of the students' learning experience. Emile Wamsteker

Secondly, I would try to build a school culture where sharing is just a normal part of what we do and where we understand the relevance of this global exchange of ideas and information to what we do in the classroom. Its not like coming in and saying, OK, everybody has to start a blog tomorrow. We have to understand how being a part of these every day interactions that go beyond school walls have value in terms of how we help kids understand the world as its currently constructed. Youve written about network literacy as one of the key 21st-century skills. What does that entail? The way I define it is that students should be able to create, navigate, and grow their own personal learning networks in safe, effective, and ethical ways. Its really about the ability to engage with people around the world in these online networks, to take advantage of learning


opportunities that are not restricted to a particular place and time, and to be conversant with the techniques and methodologies involved in doing this. Its really something that looks profoundly different from what currently happens in classrooms. So how do schools teach this? Are there some that are doing it effectively? I think there are some, but there arent many. And again, it comes back to teachers being able to model it and understand itand ultimately to infuse it into the curriculum effectively. The schools that are beginning to kind of get it often make the mistake of then making it a unit somewhere. You know, they put together this information literacy unit, and they think that they can kind of check that box. But this is not a unit were talking about. Its a cultural shift in the way we do things. Its a different way of teaching and learning. I think that even our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade curricula should be looked at again, and we should be asking where we can begin to instill these kinds of skills and literacies, in ways that are age appropriate obviously. Of course, we have to be balanced about this. We dont want students spending the entire day online. But ultimately, kids are going to have to have these skills when they leave us, and right now, by and large, were just kind of crossing our fingers and saying, Good luck with that. Hope you got it, because we cant deal with it right now. What do you say to the argument that kids are already pretty technologically savvy? I mean, theyre already out there on Facebook and YouTube. So why should schools be focusing on this instead of areas where theyre lackinglike content knowledge? Well, I think when people talk about kids being digital natives, its a real disservicebecause it suggests that kids are just somehow born with these abilities to use these technologies well. And thats not the case. Youre right, kids today have much less fear around technologyand they can pick up the basics right away. But they still dont know how to learn with these technologies, or how to connect with others from a learning standpoint as opposed to a social standpoint. There was a MacArthur Foundation report a couple of years ago called Living and Learning With New Media, 58pp. DML_ETHNOG_WHITEPAPER.pdf and it distinguished between two different ways that kids are using these online tools. The one way is the social side Facebook, texting, that type of stuff. And then theres this other way that they called interestbased. An example of that would be, if youre really into a 1972 Camaro, say, you can find other people online who are into that as well, and you can learn with them how to restore yours. Its those types of interactions that are a little more nuancedbecause you dont know who these people are and youre trying to get complex information. So youre trying to edit your contacts, youre trying to get context for who they are, youre trying to figure out what you can get from the learning interaction, or if there are better options, or if you need to supplement it in some way. Then you need to synthesize the information. Thats where kids need help. Thats the part where theyre not as good as we are or at least should bewhen it comes to discerning


what information is good and what information isnt and who they should be interacting with. Theyre not as good at assessing those critical pieces. Thats where they really need us. OK, but how do you respond to the more traditional perspective that says, Hey, thats great, but kids can fix up Camaros after school. In school, they need academic knowledge. I just think that we have for so long looked at education as this linear, everybody-does-thesame-thing-in-the-same-way process that its really difficult for us to think about education in other, more personalized waysin ways that let kids learn math or engineering in the context of fixing a Camaro. Or that let kids learn English and writing in the context of what theyre passionate about. I realize its somewhat of a stretchits a hard thing to envision. To be totally honest, its a hard thing for me to wrap my brain around, in terms of how we get there. But I think were at a point where we really need to think about not just reforming education but transforming it. Thats not to say that we shouldnt have teachers and classrooms and schools, but the interactions that happen just need to be really, really differentbecause the world is just such a different place right now, with everything we have access to. You know, when I think about my own kids, I have no doubt that the best teachers theyre going to have in their lives are the ones that they find, not the ones their schools give to them. And that to me is a huge shift in the way we think about the role of educators in kids lives. And I think that kind of captures a piece of how differently we have to think about this.

Upcoming Chat
21st-Century Learning: Teaching Network Literacy Wednesday, Oct. 27, 4 p.m. Eastern Time Sponsored by Compass Learning Join Will Richardson as he discusses how teachers can effectively integrate Web 2.0 tools in the classroom and leverage the power of personal online-learning networks.

Theres a great book called Rethinking Education in an Era of Technology Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America Allan Collins and Richard Halverson Foreword by John Seely Brown Technology, Education--Connections (TEC) Series Pub Date: September 2009, 192 pages Paperback: $21.95, ISBN: 0807750026 Cloth: $54, ISBN: 0807750034

: The most convincing account Ive read about how education will change in the decades aheadthe authors


analyses are impressive, fair-minded, and useful. Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate School of Education, author of Five Minds for the Future With luck . . . we will see a new culture of learning emerge, one that will set the foundation for learning in the 21st century, or as this book beautifully details, the second educational revolution. From the Foreword by John Seely Brown, former Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation, author of The Social Life of Information Collins and Halverson offer a bold vision for bringing schools into the digital ageand for how technology can promote education beyond the schools. Adam Gamoran, University of WisconsinMadison A tour de force. I recommend this text for anyone serious about education not just as a topic in history but as an aspiration for future generations. Constance Steinkuehler, Co-founder, Games, Learning, and Society Research Group, University of WisconsinMadison A must read for parent, educator, or scholar interested in preparing future generations for this technologysoaked world. Kurt Squire, University of WisconsinMadison Collins and Halverson argue that digital media are opening a new and exciting era of lifelong learning that will transform school and society. Their book is an entirely readable guide to this future, written by people whose research has helped bring us to this point in history. James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies, Arizona State University This is a breakthrough book that goes well beyond the idea of adding technology to existing school structures. Instead, the authors explain how and why new technologies can transform our existing concepts of what it means to learn and succeed in life. This will be a must read for my students and research collaborators. John Bransford, James W. Mifflin University Professor of Education and Psychology, University of Washington in Seattle In their charting of a dawning second educational revolution, Collins and Halverson illuminate how the values and opportunities of deeply social designs for technologies should and will expand learning environments beyond mainstream concepts of schooling. Anyone who cares about education should read their book. Roy Pea, Stanford University If you want to join todays conversation about the future of learning, start here. Lauren Resnick, University of Pittsburgh, author of Education and Learning to Think and Making America Smarter Collins and Halverson have long been leaders in understanding teaching, learning, and the critical role of technology. Now they have put their knowledge together in this important book, filled with insight about how to make education serve the needs of the 21st century. Donald Norman, Northwestern University, author of Things That Make Us Smart and Emotional Design School is a troubled concept; Collins and Halverson are very clear about why and what we can do about it. Roger Schank, former Professor of Computer Science at Yale and Northwestern, author of Tell Me a Story and Lessons in Learning, e-Learning, and Training The digital revolution has hit education, with more and more classrooms plugged into the whole wired world. But are schools making the most of new technologies? Are they tapping into thelearning potential of todays Firefox/Facebook/cell phone generation? Have schools fallen through the crack of the digital divide? In Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, Allan Collins and Richard Halverson argue that the knowledge revolution has transformed our jobs, our homes, our lives, and therefore must also transform our schools. Much like after the school-reform movement of the industrial revolution, our society is again poised at the edge of radical change. To keep pace with a globalized technological culture, we must rethink how we educate the next generation or America will be left behind. This groundbreaking book offers a vision for the future of American education that goes well beyond the walls of the classroom to include online social networks, distance learning with anytime, anywhere access, digital home schooling models, video-game learning environments, and more. Allan Collins is professor emeritus of education and social policy at Northwestern University and formerly codirector of the U.S. Department of Educations Center for Technology in Education. Richard Halverson is an associate professor of educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of WisconsinMadison, where he is co-founder of the Games, Learning and Society group.


by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson. For me, these guys absolutely peg it. They talk about how we went from a kind of apprenticeship model of education in the early 19th century to a more industrialized, everybody-does-the-same-thing model in the 20th century. And now were moving into what they call a lifelong learning modelwhich is to say that learning is much more fluid and much more independent, self-directed, and informal. That conceptthat we can learn in profound new ways outside the classroom settingposes huge challenges to traditional structures of schools, because thats not what they were built for. Youve said that schools need to emphasize learning over knowledge? What did you mean by that? Well, let me be clear: Im not saying that we dont need knowledge in order to learn well. But right now, thats the total emphasis. Its all about what we knowthats basically what we assess, right? I look at my kids tests all the timeits just factual stuff. You know, What was the third ship that Columbus sailed? I cant stand it, because it doesnt have any relevance or any bearing on anything that theyre going to do in their lives. But they have to spend a lot of time on it, because if they dont get that test answer right, then the school looks bad on the state assessment. Its just so screwed up. I get how it made sense 50 years ago. Maybe 30 years ago. But I dont get it now, when my daughter could pull out her phone to find the answer in two seconds. Its just silly. So, I think we need to focus more on developing the learning processlooking at how kids collaborate with others on a problem, how they exercise their critical thinking skills, how they handle failure, and how they create. We have to be willing to put kidsand assess kidsin situations and contexts where theyre really solving problems and were looking not so much at the answer but the process by which they try to solve those problems. Because those are the types of skills theyre going to need when they leave us, when they go to college or wherever else. At least I think so. And I dont think Im alone in that. Whats your reaction to recent arguments, such as in recent Nicholas Carrs book The Shallows, to the effect that the Web and other digital technologies are diminishing our attention spans and our capacity for deep, focused thinking? Are you concerned about a potentially negative effect of digital immersion on kids intellectual development? I mean, youre a former English teacher. Are you concerned about kids ability to read deeply? A little bit. But I dont worry about the impact of technology so much as I worry about us not giving kids relevant stuff to read in schools so they can develop those deep reading skills. It goes back to the whole core content thing. Look, I understand the value of the classics. And I get the reason a lot people are married to teaching them. But you know, lets be real. If we want kids to be readers, we have to be willing at some point to give them stuff that they want to read. And we just dont do that right nowagain, because its too difficult to individualize


instruction in that way. We want everybody reading the same thing at the same time, because its much easier to organize and assess. You know, we all want kids to understand irony, and theme, and characterization, theres no question about that. But the way we do that is whats coming under some challenge right now.

I certainly want my own kids to read deeplyand we do limit their time online. Not to set myself up as a paragon of good parenting, but a lot of this is a parenting issue, you know. We really encourage our kids to have down time where theyre reading books, or magazines, because I do think their brains need to be exercised in that way, and I think mine does, too. But the problem with what Nicholas Carr is saying is its just too much of a broad brush. As others have said in response to Carr, this is a real period of transition, and its natural for us to do some hand-wringing when we go through periods of transition, but it doesnt necessarily mean that 50 years from now were going to be stupid because of the Internet. In many ways, I think the Internet has made us immensely smarter. But theres no doubt that the ways we process and gather information is going through a big change. That can be scary, but we cant just put the genie back in the bottle. And from an English teachers standpoint, one of the big questions I have is, why is it that no one is teaching kids to read and write in hypertext in schools? I almost defy you to find me anyone who consciously teaches kids reading and writing in linked environments. Yet we know kids are in those environments and sometimes doing some wonderfully creative things. And we know theyll need to read and write online. You know what Im saying? But educators would read Nicholas Carrs book, and their response would be to ban hypertext. It just doesnt make sense. I guess the counter-argument would be, Well, shouldnt they learn to write first before theyre writing in hypertext? Oh, absolutely. Im not suggesting you put 3rd graders into totally linked environments. Absolutely, kids should learn to read and write in traditional ways. But as they develop, they also should be helped to learn how to read and write in these new ways. But theyre not. Nobody teaches this stuff. No one in schools is saying, We need to understand this for our kids.


We need to help them understand how to process information in digital formats and digital environments. And I just dont understand that. Why isnt it happening? If you were a principal, in order to foster network literacy as you envision it, what kind of professional development would you provide to teachers? I think that teachers need to have a very fundamental understanding of what these digital interactions look like, and the only way that you can do that is to pretty much immerse them in these types of learning environments over the long term. You cant workshop it. Thats really been the basis of our work with Powerful Learning Practice: Traditional PD just isnt going to work. Its got to be long-term, job-embedded. So, if Im a principal, I would definitely be thinking about how I could get my teachers into online learning communities, into these online networks. And again, from a leadership standpoint, Id better be there firstor, if not first, at least be able to model it and talk about it. But the other thing is, if you want to have workshops, well, thats fine, go ahead and schedule a blogging workshop, but then the prerequisite for the workshop should be to learn how to blog. Then, when you come to the workshop, well talk about what blogging means rather than just how to do it. Seriously, theres not one of these Web 2.0 tools or technologies that a teacher couldnt learn on his or her own in under a half an hour with an online tutorial. Theres not one. Thats why Web 2.0 is as huge as it isbecause theres a very low barrier to entry. Its not rocket science. So, imagine if we took all the time we use in workshops doing how-to and instead used that time to really go deep and to talk about what changes. I think weve become enablers for our teachers. Weve kind of built this whole professional development thing around the idea that Well provide you with the workshops, and the curriculum, you just show up. Well give you the computer, and teach you all the stuff you need to know, etc. I dont want to sound too patronizing about it, but its just silly. What we have to do is build a professional culture that says, Look, you guys are learners, and were going to help you learn. Were going to help you figure out your own learning path and practice. Its like the old give a man a fish saying. You know, were giving away a lot of fish right now, but were not teaching anybody how to fish. If you were starting a school right now that you hoped embodied these qualities, what traits would you look for in teachers? Well, certainly I would make sure they were Googleable. I would want to see that they have a presence online, that they are participating in these spaces, and, obviously, that they are doing so appropriately. Also, Id want to know that they have some understanding of how technology is changing teaching and learning and the possibilities that are out there. I would also look for people who arent asking how, but instead are asking why. I dont want people who say, How do you blog? I want people who are ready to explore the question of,


Why do you blog? Thats what we need. We need people who are willing to really think critically about what theyre doing. Im not an advocate of using tools just for the sake of using tools. I think all too often you see teachers using a blog, but nothing really changes in terms of their instruction, because they dont really understand what a blog is, what possibilities it presents. They know the how-to, but they dont know the why-to. Id look for teachers who are constantly asking why. Why are we doing this? Whats the real value of this? How are our kids growing in connection with this? How are our kids learning better? And I definitely would want learners. I would look for learners more than I would look for teachers per se. In what ways do you expect schoolsor the way education is deliveredto change over the next 20 years, and what should teachers be prepared for? I dont know that schools will change a whole heck of a lot in the short term, to be honest with you. Ive been out here screaming this stuff for the last seven yearsand a lot of folks have been at it for even longerand I feel like the change has been glacial. I mean, really glacial. You look at all the state budgets, and the whole Race to the Top thing, and the choices that people are making in terms of school policy and programs are totally regressive when it comes to technology and these global, on-demand learning environments. And the choices that theyre making about curriculum are totally counter to self-directed, self-organized, independent learning. Were just tinkering. So in the near term, as long as people are almost totally focused on test scores, I dont think schools are going to change very much at all. But if they are, theyre going to have to understand that learning is mobile. Theyre going to have to find ways to leverage the one-toone technology environments they already have in most high schools right now, using the technology that kids have in their backpacks and pockets. And I think we have to move to a more inquiry-based, problem-solving curriculum, because its not about content as much anymore. Its not about knowing this particular fact as much as it is about what you can do with it. What can you do with what you understand about chemistry? What can you do with what youve learned about writing? What does it look like? Kids need to be working on solving real problems that mean something to them. The goal should be preparing kids to be entrepreneurs, problem-solvers who think critically and whove worked with people from around the world. Their assessments should be all about the products they produced, the movements theyve created, the participatory nature of their education rather than this sort of spit-back-the-rightanswer model we currently have. I mean, that just doesnt make sense anymore. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 20

Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning For a Massachusetts district, integration of 21st-century skills starts with teacher professional development.


Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning

For a Massachusetts district, integration of 21st-century skills starts with teacher professional development.
By Elizabeth Rich

In 2000, Chris Friberg left her tech support job at a large, financial services firm in the Boston area to get a masters degree in teaching middle school math. Four years later, Friberg completed her student-teaching assignment at Alfred W. Coolidge Middle School, located in Reading, Mass., about 15 miles north of Boston. Friberg loved the energetic atmosphere of the school and the district. Coincidentally, just as she was wrapping up her student-teaching assignment, a teaching position opened up in the schools math department for the fall. She leapt at the job. The culture here and the leadership in this district and everything that I found out about it while I was student teaching was exciting and what I was looking for, she says. Friberg is not alone in her enthusiasm for the districts culture of learning. Last fall, the Cambridge, Mass.-based Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, launched a study to determine the level of support for 21st-century learning among superintendents and principals in the state. In the process, researchers at Rennie, a non-partisan organization dedicated to education reform in the state of Massachusetts, isolated Reading for its highly integrated approach to 21st-century skillsa path that began with a visionary leader.

Superintendent John Doherty helps reading teacher Christen DelRossi in his "Expanding the Boundaries of Teaching and Learning" class in Reading, Mass. Erik Jacobs

In 2003, then-Superintendent Patrick Schenttini began an aggressive campaign to modernize the districts curriculum, including initiating district-wide committees on technology, buildinglevel committees for teachers to discuss new ways to deliver content, and even meeting with town officials. He created a vision: We need to prepare students for 21st-century global learning, current Superintendent John Doherty says of Schenttini.


Marcia Grant, who teaches computer electives at Coolidge, emphasizes Schenttinis role in integrating technology into the districts curriculum. [Schenttinis] focus was on 21st-century learning and providing information to teachers so that they could focus on it as well. Before that, we were getting the hardware, but were we really using it to enhance or change our curriculum? Sixteen years ago, when Grant arrived in the district, every middle school teacher received a computer. She recalls that over time teachers were e-mailing each other and drawing up lesson plans on their computers. Teachers were supposed to integrate technology into their curriculum, but, in many instances, they didnt have the skill level, couldnt see how it would benefit the curriculum, or were intimidated. Grant also credits Schenttini with stressing globalization and its probable impact on students, their future jobs, and their careers to bring about the big shift in the district: How do we educate our students to what their world is really going to look like? What kind of professional development would teachers need? Were trying to prepare students for a whole different world than what we were prepared for, so what are the skills that they need to be successful in this global community? Today, 90 percent of the classrooms in the 4,400-student district are outfitted with SMART Boards, the student-to-computer ratio averages three-to-one, and 60 percent of the districts schools are wirelessincluding Coolidges entire building. We built up our infrastructure, says Doherty, who was appointed superintendent for the district in January of this year, shortly after Schenttini passed away from cancer. Expanding the Boundaries During a site visit to the Reading district, Rennie Center policy analyst Michael Bennett noted a universal belief that focusing on content by standards is not enough for kids to be set for society. He also noted the highly collaborative atmosphere among students, teachers, and administrators, which he understood had been shaped by Schenttini and by a six-credit, graduate-level course for district educators taught by Doherty. Offered to teachers and administrators for free, the courseExpanding the Boundaries of Teaching and Learningis now in its third year. It provides a guidepost as the district pursues 21st-century skills instruction, and a common understanding, a common language, and a shared network, says Bennett.

School Leaders on 21st-Century Skills

Results from a Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy survey 48pp. renniecenter_41.pdf.pdf revealed that a majority of superintendents and principals in the state of Massachusetts believe that integrating 21st-century skills into teaching and learning is a priority.


Superintendents: To what extent is each of the following a priority for your district? Note: Superintendents rated each statement on a scale of 1 to 5 where a 1 means not a priority and a 5 means high priority. Below are the percentages of superintendents who gave a 4 or 5 rating. Providing appropriate technology infrastructure and tools that support student acquisition of 21stcentury skills: 86% Providing professional development that focuses on improving educator capacity to teach core academic content in ways that enhance 21st-century skills mastery: 86% All educators develop and teach lessons that are designed to enhance deep mastery of core subject knowledge and 21st-century skills: 85% All core academic content curricula explicitly integrate 21st-century skills: 81% A majority of student work is evaluated at the classroom level for mastery of 21st-century skills: 74% 155 superintendents, or 52 percent of those invited, participated in this survey.

Principals: 98 percent of principals in Massachusetts surveyed indicated that their school mission or vision statement includes at least one of the 21st-century skills as defined by the Partnership for 21st Century Learningof which Massachusetts is a member state. Does your schools vision or mission statement include the following 21st-century skill as part of the overall vision for student learning? Learning and Innovation: 79% Life and Career: 71% Civic: 62% Global Awareness: 50% Technology: 49% Information: 47% Health: 34% Media: 21% Financial/Economic/Business/Entrepreneurial: 10% 375 principals, or 21 percent of those invited, participated in the survey.
SOURCE: Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, 2010


For Doherty, the course, which starts at the end of August and ends in April, is an opportunity to put technology in the hands of teachers. According to Doherty, 90 educators have taken the course in the 360-teacher district. He believes it is helping teachers and administrators to integrate 21st-century skills into content areas. Doherty describes the course, which meets online as well as face-to-face, as intense and rigorous. Teachers who take it receive a laptop, a projector for their classrooms, and wireless Internet access, if their school isnt already completely hooked upnecessary tools, Doherty believes, to establish Web literacy in the classroom. Dohertys syllabus includes Thomas Friedmans The World is Flat,

The World Is Flat

A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
History of the world twenty years from now, and they come to the chapter "Y2K to March 2004," what will they say was the most crucial development? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world's two biggest nations, giving them a huge new stake in the success of globalization? And with this "flattening" of the globe, which requires us to run faster in order to stay in place, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner? In this brilliant new book, the award-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. The World Is Flat is the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists.

Purchase this Book Online

Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux Hardcover April 2005


Daniel Pinks A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future,

A Whole New Mind

* New York Times bestseller * BusinessWeek bestseller * Wall Street Journal bestseller * Washington Post bestseller Discussion Guide for Business (Free 2-page PDF) AWNMforbusiness,pdf Discussion Guide for Educators (Free 2-page PDF) AWNMforeducators.pdf Lawyers. Accountants. Computer programmers. Thats what our parents encouraged us to become when we grew up. But Mom and Dad were wrong. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind. The era of left brain dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which right brain qualities-inventiveness, empathy, meaning-predominate. Thats the argument at the center of this provocative and original book, which uses the two sides of our brains as a metaphor for understanding the contours of our times. In this insightful and entertaining book, which has been translated into 20 languages, Daniel H. Pink offers a fresh look at what it takes to excel. A Whole New Mind reveals the six essential aptitudes on which professional success and personal fulfillment now depend, and includes a series of hands-on exercises culled from experts around the world to help readers sharpen the necessary abilities. This book will change not only how we see the world but how we experience it as well.

Will Richardsons Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms,


Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
Third Edition

Will Richardson

March 2010

184 pages

7" x 10"


Paperback ISBN:9781412977470 $31.95

Other Titles in:Classroom Applications of Technology | Teacher Resources | Curriculum & Content

"This book is loaded with insightful and honest advice about using Web 2.0 in education. Will Richardson has amassed decades of technology integration experience as a teacher, consultant, blogger, and educational leader. There are few like him and few books like this." Curtis J. Bonk, Professor, Indiana University Author of The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education "Richardson's book was a touchstone for me when I started trying to figure out how to integrate participatory media into my teaching. I recommend this book to any teacher at any level who is interested in the learner-centric pedagogy that social media enables." Howard Rheingold, Lecturer, Stanford University Author of Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution Explore the wide world of new, easy-to-use Web publishing and information gathering tools! Written for educators of all levels and disciplines, this third edition of the best-selling book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms provides real examples from K12 teachers around the world who are at the forefront of bringing today's Web tools into their schools and to their students. This book is filled with practical advice on how teachers and students can use the Web to learn more, create more, and communicate better. This fully updated resource opens up a new technology toolbox for both novice and tech-savvy educators. Will Richardson provides clear explanations of specific teaching applications, with how-to steps for teaching with: Weblogs Wikis Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds and aggregators Social bookmarking Online photo galleries Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter


Updated with materials on Web publishing and information literacy, this invaluable handbook helps students and teachers use Web tools within the classroom to enhance student learning and achievement. Read more from Will Richardson.

Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
Third Edition

Will Richardson

March 2010

184 pages

7" x 10"


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Previous Editions Published by Corwin

Second Edition: 2009 First Edition: 2006

Substantial Content Revisions

The third edition of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms retains all of the core content that made the previous editions so successful, however examples of technology use have been updated throughout and the book includes a new chapter on social networking sites. In addition, the author cites a number of new references about the evolving mode and impact of todays technologies. Richardson expands his coverage of tools that have grown increasingly popular in the past few years, such as Twitter, Diigo, and Flickr, and adds detailed, up-to-date instructions for these sites. Additional updating includes current examples of online media use, deletion of references to obsolete sites, and inclusion of new sites to illustrate the text. The newly added chapter, titled Social Networks: Facebook, Ning, Connections, and Communities, presents information about how to set up and use social networking sites and discusses personal and classroom applications. Richardson also includes innovative examples of how different schools have utilized these tools. Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email corwinheoa@corwin.com. Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to http://ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html.


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and two selections by edu-tech authority Alan November, including Web Literacy for Educators.
Paperback ISBN:9781412958431 $25.95

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Other Titles in:Classroom Applications of Technology | Teacher Resources | Educational Research

Awards: 2008 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist "A huge contribution. The coverage is very complete, and the examples are engaging and very informative." Cheryl Oakes, Collaborative Content Coach for Technology Wells-Ogunquit CSD, ME "Both the newcomer and the tech-savvy educator can find something useful from this well-organized, easy-to-follow book. A wonderful addition for educators at any grade level." Betsy Muller, Technology Consultant and Teacher Issaquah School District, Seattle, WA Boost teacher/student Web literacy while using the Internet to enrich classroom instruction! For many of today's students, the Web is one of the first places they go to for information. Unfortunately, doing research on the Internet poses many dangers and challenges. Both students and educators must become Web literate, which means not only knowing how to find information but also how to examine content, find out who published a Web site, and see who is linked to a site. This practical guidebook helps teachers and students effectively find, sort, and evaluate information on the Web and illustrates how educators across all content areas and grade levels can use the Internet to strengthen students' critical thinking skills. Educational technology expert Alan November offers methods to conduct smarter, faster, and more productive student research and provides basic steps to help learners judge information for quality and validity. This resource includes: Formative assessments in each chapter Need-to-know information for students' out-of-school, unfiltered research Tips for addressing plagiarism Explanations of commonly used terminology


Web Literacy for Educators shows teachers how to navigate the Internet efficiently and wisely and help their students do the same.

Web Literacy for Educators

Alan November



128 pages

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"A huge contribution. The coverage is very complete, and the examples are engaging and very informative." Cheryl Oakes, Collaborative Content Coach for Technology Wells-Ogunquit CSD, ME "Both the newcomer and the tech-savvy educator can find something useful from this well-organized, easy-to-follow book. A wonderful addition for educators at any grade level." Betsy Muller, Technology Consultant and Teacher Issaquah School District, Seattle, WA Boost teacher/student Web literacy while using the Internet to enrich classroom instruction! For many of today's students, the Web is one of the first places they go to for information. Unfortunately, doing research on the Internet poses many dangers and challenges. Both students and educators must become Web literate, which means not only knowing how to find information but also how to examine content, find out who published a Web site, and see who is linked to a site. This practical guidebook helps teachers and students effectively find, sort, and evaluate information on the Web and illustrates how educators across all content areas and grade levels can use the Internet to strengthen students' critical thinking skills. Educational technology expert Alan November offers methods to conduct smarter, faster, and more productive student research and provides basic steps to help learners judge information for quality and validity. This resource includes: Formative assessments in each chapter Need-to-know information for students' out-of-school, unfiltered research


Tips for addressing plagiarism Explanations of commonly used terminology

Web Literacy for Educators shows teachers how to navigate the Internet efficiently and wisely and help their students do the same. Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email corwinheoa@corwin.com. Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to http://ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html. We hope you'll consider this Corwin book for your course. Email us at adopt@corwin.com, or click here to find your Corwin Sales Manager.

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Participants must create a (frequently updated) blog, a Wikipedia entry, and a podcast, and throughout the course, they must collaborate with each other and deconstruct what a 21stcentury classroom should look like. Once teachers complete the course, they are encouraged to go back to their schools and share their knowledge with their colleagues. Were using these people to do professional development training. Now we have the capacity, says Doherty. His goal is to shift the focus in the classroom from the teachers to the students, where the students are the knowledge generators and the teachers are the knowledge facilitators. Last year, 25 percent of the teachers at Reading Memorial High School took Dohertys course. Ellie Freedman, who is principal of the districts only high school, came to Reading at the start of the last school year, becauselike Chris Fribergshe was intrigued and energized by what they were doing. In her brief tenure, she has noticed that the atmosphere among her staff is much more collaborative and that they are generally willing to embrace a more evolved curriculum, which she believes has a lot to do with the superintendents course and the districts focus on project- and inquiry-based learning. As a result, teachers are working crossdisciplinarily to create better curricula for students, and she says, Weve been having deeper conversations about how [skills such as critical thinking, communication, and problem solving] are manifested in teaching and how students are engaging in learning. Thats an essential conversation to have no matter what the century. Boosting Student Engagement When discussing 21st-century learning, Craig Martin, who succeeded John Doherty as principal of Coolidge, echoes a familiar refrain across the district: Computers are a means, not an end, to student learning.


In Doherty's class, math teacher Lisa Emma and her colleagues learn how to use a cellphone polling tool called polleverywhere.com. Erik Jacobs

One of the things thats been important to me is that I dont want people to think of 21stcentury learning as [being only about] technology. We see it as a tool. With the [Web literacy] skills that were talking about, kids are able to produce work where the audience is not just the teacher or a classmate. It engages them at a different level, says Martin. Absolutely. The kids love technology, says Erica LeBow, a 7th and 8th grade language arts teacher at Coolidge who, like Friberg and Grant, is an alumna of Dohertys course. Give them a blog, give them a wiki, and theyll produce far more work of higher quality. In addition to being more engaged, students appear less anxious about sharing their work. With more tools at their disposal and a slightly more anonymous venue in which to express themselves, Martin believes students feel freer to open up. When I compare it to many years ago when I was an English teacher, I felt I had more kids who were reluctant to communicate, he says. Another graduate of Dohertys course, Laura Warren, finds that the students in her 7th and 8th grade language-arts classrooms at Coolidge participate more intensely online than they do inside the four walls of her classroom for another reason: time. We have a 50-minute period, so kids might be able to say one thing. If you have a book discussion online, everyone participatesand they can process and bounce ideas off each other. The experience lends itself to critical thinking.


Chris Friberg believes that by ceding some control to her students, they are more likely to engage with each other. In her math classroom, which is a hybrid of online learning and face time, students are using YouTube videos to find a different take on a problem; online video lessons from universities like Massachusetts Institute of Technology; touchpad calculators; and Moodle, a classroom-management system that allows them to work at their own pace. One of the things that sticks out the most, she explains, is their confidence level in a [discussion] forum. By being able to respond in a forum, in a private setting, students come out of their shells. Recently, Friberg says, a student posted a problem he couldnt solve and a classmate stepped forward online and responded with a suggestion. That gives me the chills, she says. These students are learning collaboration, communication, and presentation skills that are going to be necessary, in addition to knowledge about the curriculum. The day is gone when they just need to know formulasthey can look those up, she adds. They need to know how to solve problems and work together. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 27Account Management
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How Do You Define 21st-Century Learning? One question. Eleven answers.

How Do You Define 21st-Century Learning?

One question. Eleven answers. The term "21st-century skills" is generally used to refer to certain core competencies such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving that advocates believe schools need to teach to help students thrive in today's world. In a broader sense, however, the idea of what learning in the 21st century should look like is open to interpretationand controversy. To get a sense of how views on the subject alignand differwe recently asked a range of education experts to define 21st-century learning from their own perspectives.

Richard Allington Professor of Education, University of Tennessee; Early-Reading Expert


Im an old guy. Ive never Tweeted, Skyped, Facebooked, or YouTubed. Oddly, I dont feel the least bit disenfranchised by technology. I am preparing this response on my laptop, I use (though not much) my Blackberry every day, and I will e-mail this response. But Im still stuck on fostering 18th-century literacy in citizens. As far as I can tell, illiterates rarely use 21stcentury literacies if only because they never developed the 18th-century kind of literacy. I think we actually could teach everyone to read (the old way) and for the life of me I cannot understand why schools would spend funds on computers when their libraries are almost empty of things students might want to read. I cannot understand why classrooms have whiteboards but no classroom libraries. The research, to date, has provided no evidence that having either computers or whiteboards in schools has any positive effect on students reading and writing proficiencies. But school and classroom libraries are well established as essential if we plan to develop a literate citizenry. However, there is no buzz about books.

Barnett Berry Founder and CEO, Center for Teaching Quality


Twenty-first-century learning means that students master content while producing, synthesizing, and evaluating information from a wide variety of subjects and sources with an understanding of and respect for diverse cultures. Students demonstrate the three Rs, but also the three Cs: creativity, communication, and collaboration. They demonstrate digital literacy as well as civic responsibility. Virtual tools and open-source software create borderless learning territories for students of all ages, anytime and anywhere. Powerful learning of this nature demands well-prepared teachers who draw on advances in cognitive science and are strategically organized in teams, in and out of cyberspace. Many will emerge as teacherpreneurs who work closely with students in their local communities while also serving as learning concierges, virtual network guides, gaming experts, community organizers, and policy researchers.

Sarah Brown Wessling 2010 National Teacher of the Year

Twenty-first-century learning embodies an approach to teaching that marries content to skill. Without skills, students are left to memorize facts, recall details for worksheets, and relegate their educational experience to passivity. Without content, students may engage in problemsolving or team-working experiences that fall into triviality, into relevance without rigor. Instead, the 21st-century learning paradigm offers an opportunity to synergize the margins of the content vs. skills debate and bring it into a framework that dispels these dichotomies. Twenty-first-century learning means hearkening to cornerstones of the past to help us navigate our future. Embracing a 21st-century learning model requires consideration of those elements that could comprise such a shift: creating learners who take intellectual risks, fostering learning dispositions, and nurturing school communities where everyone is a learner.


Karen Cator Director, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education

Success in the 21st century requires knowing how to learn. Students today will likely have several careers in their lifetime. They must develop strong critical thinking and interpersonal communication skills in order to be successful in an increasingly fluid, interconnected, and complex world. Technology allows for 24/7 access to information, constant social interaction, and easily created and shared digital content. In this setting, educators can leverage technology to create an engaging and personalized environment to meet the emerging educational needs of this generation. No longer does learning have to be one-size-fits-all or confined to the classroom. The opportunities afforded by technology should be used to re-imagine 21st-century education, focusing on preparing students to be learners for life.

Milton Chen Senior Fellow & Executive Director, Emeritus, The George Lucas Educational Foundation; author of Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in Our Schools


Twenty-first-century learning shouldnt be controversial. It is simply an effort to define modern learning using modern tools. (The problem is that whats modern in 2010 has accelerated far beyond 2000, a year which now seems so last century.) Twenty-first-century learning builds upon such past conceptions of learning as core knowledge in subject areas and recasts them for todays world, where a global perspective and collaboration skills are critical. Its no longer enough to know things. Its even more important to stay curious about finding out things. The Internet, which has enabled instant global communication and access to information, likewise holds the key to enacting a new educational system, where students use information at their fingertips and work in teams to accomplish more than what one individual can alone, mirroring the 21st-century workplace. If 10 years from now we are still debating 21st-century learning, it would be a clear sign that a permanent myopia has clouded what should be 20/20 vision.

Steven Farr Chief Knowledge Officer, Teach For America; author of Teaching as Leadership: The Highly Effective Teachers Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap

Twenty-first-century learning must include the 20th-century ideals of Brown v. Board of Education. Sadly, we have failed to deliver on that promise. Our system perpetuates a racial and socioeconomic achievement gap that undermines our ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity. As we study what distinguishes highly effective teachers in our nations most challenging contexts, we see that education reform requires much more than lists of skills. We need classroom leaders setting an ambitious vision, rallying others to work hard to achieve it, planning and executing to ensure student learning, and defining the very notion of teaching as


changing the life paths of students. What will make America a global leader in the 21st century is acting on what we know to educate all children, regardless of socioeconomic background.

Steve Hargadon Founder, Classroom 2.0; Social Learning Consultant, Elluminate

Twenty-first-century learning will ultimately be learner-driven. Our old stories of education (factory-model, top-down, compliance-driven) are breaking down or broken, and this is because the Internet is releasing intellectual energy that comes from our latent desires as human beings to have a voice, to create, and to participate. The knowledge-based results look a lot like freemarket economies or democratic governments (think: Wikipedia). Loosely governed and highly self-directed, these teaching and learning activities exist beyond the sanction or control of formal educational institutions. I believe the political and institutional responses will be to continue to promote stories about education that are highly-structured and defined from above, like national standards or (ironically) the teaching of 21st-century skills. These will, however, seem increasingly out-of-sync not just with parents, educators, and administrators watching the Internet Revolution, but with students, who themselves are largely prepared to drive their own educations.

Lynne Munson President and Executive Director, Common Core


I define 21st-century learning as 20th- (or even 19th!-) century learning but with better tools. Todays students are fortunate to have powerful learning tools at their disposal that allow them to locate, acquire, and even create knowledge much more quickly than their predecessors. But being able to Google is no substitute for true understanding. Students still need to know and deeply understand the history that brought them and our nation to where we are today. They need to be able to enjoy mans greatest artistic and scientific achievements and to speak a language besides their mother tongue. According to most 21st-century skills advocates, students neednt actually walk around with such knowledge in their heads, they need only to have the skills to find it. I disagree. Twenty-first-century technology should be seen as an opportunity to acquire more knowledge, not an excuse to know less.

Keith Moore Director, Bureau of Indian Education, Department of Interior

Students in the 21st century learn in a global classroom and its not necessarily within four walls. They are more inclined to find information by accessing the Internet through cellphones


and computers, or chatting with friends on a social networking site. Similarly, many teachers are monitoring and issuing assignments via virtual classrooms. Many of our Bureau of Indian Education schools are located in disadvantaged rural and remote areas. The BIE is working with various stakeholders to ensure that our schools have a Common Operating Environment so that students and teachers can access information beyond the classroom. Within the federal BIE school system, we must rely upon the vision and the ability of our tribal leadership, parents, teachers, and students to work with the federal leadership to keep education a top priority.

Diane Ravitch Education Historian; author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System

To be prepared for the 21st century, our children require the following skills and knowledge: an understanding of history, civics, geography, mathematics, and science, so they may comprehend unforeseen events and act wisely; the ability to speak, write, and read English well; mastery of a foreign language; engagement in the arts, to enrich their lives; close encounters with great literature, to gain insight into timeless dilemmas and the human condition; a love of learning, so they continue to develop their minds when their formal schooling ends; self-discipline, to pursue their goals to completion; ethical and moral character; the social skills to collaborate fruitfully with others; the ability to use technology wisely; the ability to make and repair useful objects, for personal independence; and the ability to play a musical instrument, for personal satisfaction.

Susan Rundell Singer Laurence McKinley Gould Professor of Natural Sciences, Carleton College


Adaptability, complex communication skills, non-routine problem solving, self-management, and systems-thinking are essential skills in the 21st-century workforce. From my perspective as a scientist and science educator, the most effective way to prepare students for the workforce and college is to implement and scale what is already known about effective learning and teaching. Content vs. process wars should be ancient history, based on the evidence from the learning sciences. Integrating core concepts with key skills will prepare students for the workplace and college. We need to move past mile-wide and inch-deep coverage of everexpanding content in the classroom. Developing skills in the context of core concepts is simply good practice. Its time to let go of polarizing debates, consider the evidence, and get to work. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 32

The Coming Age of the Teacherpreneur In an excerpt from a forthcoming book on the future of education, a group of accomplished educators envisions new roles for teacher leaders.

The Coming Age of the Teacherpreneur

In an excerpt from a forthcoming book on the future of education, a group of accomplished educators envisions new roles for teacher leaders.
By Barnett Berry & the TeacherSolutions 2030 Team

While we are all for entrepreneurism in public schools, we have a different view of what it takes to be a successful and enterprising change agent in education. Our co-author Ariel Sacks used the term teacherpreneur during one of our team writing sessions. She predicted that the schools of 2030 will need growing numbers of teacherpreneurs, which she described as teacher leaders of proven accomplishment who have a deep knowledge of how to teach, a clear understanding of what strategies must be in play to make schools highly successful, and the skills and commitment to spread their expertise to othersall the while keeping at least one foot firmly in the classroom.


And we need to begin to cultivate such teachers now, she says: Many teachers like myself could play any number of teacherpreneurial roles depending on the needs of my school and the funding sourcecommunity organization, think tank, or university. Right now, many of us are developing curriculum materials, mentoring teachers, or creating partnerships between our schools and other organizations. And I can imagine more: I could do policy work outside my school and/or be a freelance writer, with perhaps only half of my salary paid by the school itself.

This article is excerpted from Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public SchoolsNow and in the Future, scheduled to be published by Teachers College Press later this year. The book was written by Barnett Berry and the TeacherSolutions 2030 Team, a group of accomplished educators assembled by the nonprofit Center for Teaching Quality. It aims to identify emergent realities that will shape education and teaching in the coming decades and to prescribe possible policy directions to help schools leverage these trends. Author Barnett Berry is founder and president of the Center for Teaching Quality, a North Carolina nonprofit that seeks to improve student achievement by conducting research, crafting policy, and cultivating teacher leadership. CTQ is the parent organization of the Teacher Leaders Network. The TeacherSolutions 2030 Team includes: Jennifer Barnett (Alabama)* Kilian Betlach (California) * Shannon Cde Baca (Iowa) * Susie Highley (Indiana)* John M. Holland (Virginia) * Carrie J. Kamm (Illinois) * Renee Moore (Mississippi) * Cindi Rigsbee (North Carolina)* Ariel Sacks (New York)* Emily Vickery (Florida)* Jose Vilson (New York)* Laurie Wasserman (Massachusetts). More information on the project is available at: www.teaching2030.org

The beauty of a hybrid, teacherpreneurial role is that I would always maintain a classroom teaching practice. Teaching is the soul of my work in education. If I lose that, I think Id feel disconnected from my purpose and passionand my colleagues. At least in my own mind, my work would lose relevance and, understandably, I would lose credibility with my teaching peers.


Too many reformers have romanticized the marketplace, relying on choice and financial incentives to drive changes in the teaching profession. We believe in risk-taking teachers who are recognized and rewarded for innovative practices. But as our collaborator John M. Holland makes very clear, its not really about the money: We are talking about teacherpreneurs as an aspect of teachers ownership of their profession. An evolution. Many of us arent selling anything but a vision for a better educational future for children. We arent necessarily asking to be compensated for this future so much as to be incorporated into the marketplace of ideas. There is no need, says Ariel Sacks, for the false dichotomy of teachers either teaching for the love of children or to earn a professional income: Our principal motivation isnt money, but to make education better. Nonetheless, our ideas need to be valued financially even though our clients (students) dont pay us. Its easy for other professionals to work not just for the money because there is so much money to be made in their field. Teachers should not shy away from the money issuesbecause it can make us more visible to our colleagues and the public. Not only do these differentiated, entrepreneurial roles increase the stickiness of the teaching career by creating fresh challenges and opportunities as well as rewards, they preserve and enhance the body of knowledge and expertise that defines a profession. Our co-author Kilian Betlach offered his own ideas of teacherpreneurism and the hybrid opportunities that would have kept him in a teaching (rather than a purely administrative) role: These new teacherpreneurial roles would replace the old notions of mentor, master teacher, or department chair, which insufficiently diversify professional standing and function as poor replacements for promotions that are part of a recognized and organized professional system. These new roles would ground the profession in the work of teaching, while recognizing that teacher leadership has a place and a value and a function beyond honorific titles and extracurricular duties. Leadership would no longer be a thing you ascribed to after teaching, or when you were done teaching. Nor would teaching need to be seen as something to master and move on from. There are nearly endless combinations of endeavors that could compose a hybrid teaching position that promotes teacherpreneurism. . . . What remains central is the repudiation of the dichotomous nature of the profession: Youre either a teacher or a principal, a mentor or a follower. The or in the equation represents an inauthentic choice, and one that limits the effectiveness of both individuals and the system as a whole. The removal of this either-or barrier would bring a far greater array of skills and strengths to bear on student achievement, improving academic performance exponentially.


In our conception, the teacherpreneur is always engaged with students, while also investing know-how and energy into important projects, including those supported by the district, the state, or a partnering organization. Early examples of teacherpreneurs arent hard to find. Our co-author Shanon Cde Baca is a trailblazing online educator who, not only brings her science knowledge (and student-management skills) to Iowas virtual high school classrooms, but also trains new teachers via distance and face-to-face mentoring in Asia and the Mideast. Our Teacher Leaders Network colleague Lori Nazareno is co-leading a new Denver public school thats entirely run by teachers. In Rhode Island, Marti Schwartz, another TLN member, mentors new teachers for Brown University, contracts privately to provide professional development in several community school systems, and also serves as a literacy teacher and coach at an innercity high school. Many other colleagues are providing professional development and training to peers who are gaining expertise in teaching children with different learning needsor helping build effective professional learning communities in high-needs schools. As TLN member Sarah Henchey says, This shift, at least instructionally, has already begun. More districts and schools have developed literacy and math coaches to support teachers. AIG and ESL specialists provide pullout, push-in, and professional development. As we imagine it, teacherpreneurism will build out from these teacher-leader-coach beginnings. As entrepreneurial roles evolve, it will become more and more commonplace to select a cadre of the most highly effective and creative classroom educators and give them the independence and financial incentives to innovate in ways thatin Phillip Schlechtys memorable phraseshake up the schoolhouse. After a dozen years teaching in a suburban Birmingham, Ala., high school, our co-author Jennifer Barnett returned home to rural Talladega County to teach English and social studies at a small K12 school. Her use of digital tools and the Internet and her commitment to projectbased learning soon attracted the attention of district administrators, who were considering an ambitious plan to make that instructional method a mainstay in all schools in the countywide district. Today, Jennifer is beginning to serve as a teacherpreneur, leading major innovations at Winterboro Highthe first Talladega school to transition to project-driven instruction. Its her job to support both the integration of 21st-century skills and teaching strategies and to promote collegial collaboration. Her report, one year into the initiative, illustrates both the powerful effect of a change agent and the important quality of collaborative leadership that will be essential in the teacherpreneur role: Winterboro School has become a very rich school. It would seem more likely for an extremely rural school with over 90 percent free and reduced lunch status to become part of a Top 10 list of at-risk schools, but this is not the case. A 21st-century transformation is happening. After searching for a curriculum redesign and settling on schoolwide adoption of a project-based learning experience for all students in every course, we can see that this schools students are


changing. Only the old thinkers of the nearly 400 visitors weve welcomed this year have asked about our students test scores. (Im so humored by their impatience in trying to prove our work invalid.) Most see what I see. Our students present themselves as confident young professionals placing value on what they are doing and why they are doing it. They believe they are relevant. Much can be said about what our students are doing now, but Im most interested in why it is working. It may be a worn-out concept ... but collaboration is the key. It is happening everywhere. Teachers are working with each other. It has become our addictive drug and not one of them is ready to let go. Students see it and follow the model. ... This collaboration is not happening by chance or because of fantastic technological advancements. Collaboration is happening by design. Before they could model collaboration, the teachers have had to learn how to work in concert with one another. One thing most people dont realize is this: Most of us dont know how, as a group, to exchange ideas, create plans, and distinguish between whats good and whats great. Embracing ambiguity is the key to successful collaboration and many teachers struggle with that. We want a decision, a plan, and we want it immediately. Unfortunately, successful collaboration takes time, patience, and a great deal of knowledge and skill. Heres the rub. Our Winterboro staff is very young and inexperienced. They have very little time and even less patience with themselves. Yet, the sessions are carefully designed to bring the right mix of knowledge and expertise to the collaboration table. The teacher leader in the hybrid role can make this happen in every school in America. I want every poor school in this country to offer its students the opportunity to become rich in confidence, value, and relevancy. We havent reached the mountaintop yet, but we can see the sun shining on the other side. There is good evidence of Winterboros early progress: The isolated high school, which shares building space with students in grades K8, was selected by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best High Schools in Alabama for 2010. The magazines selection methods are based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all its students well, not just those who are college-bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators. Ultimately, teacherpreneurship is about propagating a new culture of innovation and creativity in a sector of education that has been woefully lacking in one. Most importantly, teacherpreneurship is not promoting a free-market visionfor the profit of a fewbut rather how our society can invest substantially in teachers who can expertly serve millions of children and families who are not in the position to choose a better school somewhere else or find the most erudite online teacher anytime, anywhere. Teacherpreneurship is all about the public good, not private gain.


Used with permission from the Publisher. From Berry, Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public SchoolsNow and in the Future, New York: Teachers College Press, 2011 by Teachers College, Columbia University. All rights reserved. To order copies visit www.tcpress.com or call (800) 575-6566.. Vol. 04, Issue 01, Page 37