ERG SES H 07, Teachers and Education
Internationally, it is acknowledged that proficiency and knowledge in key discipline areas (e.g. Science or History) is not sufficient to prepare students adequately for success in the global workplace which increasingly values people who can use their knowledge to communicate, collaborate, analyze, create, innovate and solve problems both within and between disciplines (Larson & Miller, 2011; Luterbach & Brown, 2011). Curricula are being redesigned to articulate understanding of these skills and to recommend their integration within key learning areas (Lambert & Yi, 2010; Chelliah & Clarke, 2011).
Researchers recommend that these skills should be taught in the context of core academic subjects (Beyer, 2008; Dumitru, 2012). However, there is no indication that this is being done or that implementation training for educators is being undertaken. Teaching subject discipline content, while also needing to develop these skills in their students, can be a challenging proposition for teachers. The process involves knowing where and how to intervene in both areas. Current teacher training in discipline-specific pedagogy may not be sufficient to meet the requirements of this expanded role for educators (AACTE, 2010).
One approach to supporting teachers who face this challenge may be to provide assessment information about student skill levels in the areas concerned. The ATC21STM project (Griffin, McGaw & Care, 2012) has developed a theoretical framework for collaborative problem solving (CPS) which includes online assessment tasks and surveys that can provide profile reports on student ability in this skill area. In addition, skills progressions have been developed for the sub-skills of CPS (i.e. problem solving skills and social collaboration skills) that can aid teachers in planning instruction and implementing support for students to improve their ability.
This presentation will share findings from research conducted in 2013 with a group of Year 8 teachers in two schools in Melbourne, Australia. The study examined pedagogical implications of supporting educators in the assessment and teaching of one set of 21stcentury skills (CPS) within key learning areas. It investigated teachers’ use of assessment
information on students’ general CPS skills, and their use of developmental progressions for the problem solving and social strands of CPS (developed through the international ATC21STM project) to plan meaningful learning activities and incorporate teaching strategies for developing the CPS skills of students. It also provided an opportunity to examine whether the explicit teaching and learning of CPS skills enhanced educational performance of students across and within specific disciplines.
The key research questions for this study were:
(1) To what extent does student background experience in online games impact on their online CPS skills?
(2) To what extent can teachers use assessment information to identify and incorporate teaching activities and strategies to improve students’ CPS skills within discipline areas?
(3) Can teacher intervention to develop students’ CPS skills improve student ability?
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). (2010). 21st Century Knowledge and Skills in Educator Preparation. American Association of School Librarians, 9(10). Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative Case Study Methodology: Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers. Qualitative Report, 13(4), 544-559. Beyer, B. K. (2008). What Research Tells Us about Teaching Thinking Skills. Social Studies, 99(5), 223-232. Chelliah, J., & Clarke, E. (2011). Collaborative teaching and learning: overcoming the digital divide? On the Horizon, 19(4), 276-285. Dumitru, D. (2012). Critical thinking and integrated programs. The problem of transferability. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 33, 143-147. Griffin, P. E., McGaw, B., & Care, E. (2012). Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills [/ Patrick Griffin, Barry McGaw, Esther Care, editors: Dordrecht ; New York : Springer, c2012. Hancock, D. R., & Algozzine, R. (2006). Doing case study research: a practical guide for beginning researchers / Dawson R. Hancock, Bob Algozzine: New York : Teachers College Press, c2006. Lambert, J., & Yi, G. (2010). 21st Century Paradigms for Pre-Service Teacher Technology Preparation. Computers in the Schools, 27(1), 54-70. Larson, L. C., & Miller, T. N. (2011). 21st Century Skills: Prepare Students for the Future. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 47(3), 121-123. Luterbach, K. J., & Brown, C. (2011). Education for the 21st Century. International Journal of Applied Educational Studies, 10(2), 14-32.
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