Best Learning for the 21st CenturyWhat learning do you think is best for students in the 21st Century, Self-Directed, Cooperative, Collaborative, or just the plain old traditional sit in your seat and read a book alone?
My answer, all of the above. There is a time and a place for all of these. Yet, it is defintely out of balance.
Let's take a look at the 2 major rails of Rightshifting Learning, Rightshifting from Dependent to Independent and from Individual to Collaborative.
The 1st Rail: Dependent/Independent
Self-directed learning is critical in the 21st Century classroom. It allow students to differentiate learning for themselves, provides a greater depth of knowledge, and develops core 21st Century Life and Career skills. Dr. Gerald Grow describes 4 stages in self-directed learning (1) that is an excellent model to visualize the development of self-direction.
We want to Rightshift, or shift the balance more to the right and less of the left, to adjust our learning dial to the 21st Century.
The 2cd Rail: Individual/Collaborative
The 2cd Rigthshifting rail is shifting to more Collaborative learning and less Individual learning. Indeed, the 21st Century requires cross-functional, interdisciplinary teams to innovate and solve the big challenges, from fighting cancer to designing the next amazing technology product.
Rightshift Learning Zones
When we bring these 2 rails together in a matrix, we can chart a richer picture of our learning needs through the creation of 4 Learning Zones.
Zone 1: Traditional learning, where students are learning individually and highly dependenent on the teacher.
Zone 2: Self-Directed Learning: Thought to be the holy grail for classrooms, where students love learning and will learn on their own free will.
Zone 3: Cooperative Learning: Learning in groups but still dependent on the teacher. Think traditional project management.
Zone 4: Self-Organization: This is the goal of Rightshift Learning, to have a classroom that is Self-Organizing, not dependent on the teacher for activities, but, self-manage as equals
Of course, there are gradients of grey in between. These are not polar opposites, but, a spectrum.
Remember, all zone are valid learning zones, we want to bring our classrooms more into alignment with the needs of the 21st Century by Rightshifting from the bottom left to the top right.
1. Grow, Gerald. "Teaching Learners to Be Self-Directed." Teaching Learners to Be Self-Directed. Dr. Gerald Grow, 20 Mar. 1996. Web. 27 June 2013. Link