IATEFL Poland: Lucyna Wilinkiewicz-Gorniak on 21st Century Skills

IATEFL Poland: Lucyna Wilinkiewicz-Gorniak on 21st Century Skills - hancockmcdonald.com/blog/iatefl-poland-lucyna-wilinkiewicz-gorniak-21st-century-skills

These changing times require educationalists to be constantly evolving. We need to embrace change and enjoy being flexible. In the classroom, this will almost inevitably mean a certain switch in power relations, since the students are likely to be in some ways more technology-savvy than the teacher, and so the flow of information will be opposite to what we normally suppose to be the case.

However, technological change is only one part of the 21st century skills model, which Lucyna (of Krakow University of Economics) went on to outline. The skills to be taught, in addition to the core skills such as maths, language and literacy, are:

1.      Life and career skills, which require learners to be flexible.

2.      Learning and innovation skills, which require learners to develop their creativity

3.      Media and technology skills, which include the digital literacies.

Lucyna went on to take questions and comments from the audience. These were interesting. One person asked, ‘Why is it that only we English teachers seem to be taking responsibility for these new skills? Other departments seem totally uninterested’. A university teacher commented, ‘They don’t seem to have any of these skills when they come to us. Don’t they teach them at all in the secondary schools?’ Another teacher pointed out how keen teachers who do promote these skills get ostracized by their colleagues for rocking the boat. Finally, someone else lamented how poorly these skills are treated in the Polish education system, while a delegate from Turkey mentioned that it was no better there.

21st Century Skills is clearly a topic which was important to the conference goers, and there were quite a large number of presentations on it or which made reference to different elements of it.

Comments

Dear Mark and Annie, thank You, so much, for including my presentation about 21st century skills in Your review. As You know, problems with my "personal set of technological devices" swallowed the most precious time at the beginning of my presentation. Therefore I was almost certain that, by the time I had eventually managed to fix everything, nobody would be willing to listen to me. But, evidently, I was wrong! That is just what we, teachers of English, are like! In my opinion the discussion following my presentation was the most inspiring part of the whole, because it proved to me, that we are among those teachers who really care! All we need to do now is just to keep up the good work and... spread the news among those who do not care... Best wishes, Lucyna W-G In my opinion the discussion following my presentation was the most inspiring part of the whole, because it proved to me, that we are among those teachers who really care! All we need to do now is just to keep up the good wok and... spread the news among those who do not care...

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