Professional Development

21st-Century Teaching

By Anthony Rebora — October 11, 2010 1 min read

The term “21st-century skills”—generally used to refer to such competencies as digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem solving—is 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, we’ve 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 new—and still largely unrealized—dynamic for K-12 instruction.

To get additional perspective on how education is changing (and how it’s 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 won’t 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.

A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2010 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook


Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Professional Development Opinion How Can Coaches Use a Cycle of Inquiry to Establish Themselves and Help Others?
A cycle of inquiry can both help coaches establish themselves and help those they coach develop areas of improvement.
10 min read
shutterstock 546692113
Professional Development Opinion 'A Professional Learning Community Is Not a Faculty, Grade Level, or Department Meeting'
Three educators wrap-up a four-part series on professional learning communities.
11 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Professional Development Professional Development This Summer: What Teachers and Principals Say They Need
School and classroom leaders weigh in on how PD this summer should prioritize addressing the needs made plain during the pandemic.
7 min read
Professional Development Opinion Promoting PLCs to Face the 'Twin Epidemics' of COVID-19 and Systemic Racism
Four educators discuss the practical aspects of professional learning communities.
10 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."