What New Role Does 21st Century Learning Create For Parents? - Part 1

What New Role Does 21st Century Learning Create For Parents? - Part 1

Parents have a major role to play in their child’s education and a child’s success in school depends largely on how much his parents are involved with his learning and how they contribute in it. Parent involvement can be interpreted in many different ways.

Traditionally, it meant to attend every meeting, conference, function, etc., parents were invited to at school. Parent involvement in the 21st century means a great deal more than that. Parents today need to understand that they have a much more participative role in their children’s education. Parents are increasingly taking leadership roles in the school environment. They are forming groups and organized advisory councils to identify systemic issues in their children’s schools and are providing ideas and suggestions to solve those issues.

This is first of the 3 article series discussing about the new role that 21st century learning creates for parents. If parents today are asked to think of the classrooms where they spent their formative years, they would mainly envision a teacher instructing a class of passive students. The present day classrooms are no longer the same and have parents playing their part by taking on new roles. Schools are now making the shift to 21st century learning. Today students are required to learn a new set of skills that will prepare them for the challenges and changes ahead. Students can be fully ready for college and careers if along with academic knowledge, they also know about how to collaborate, think critically and creatively, and use technology tools to communicate. Rote learning and memorization won't help students become the actively involved and creative thinkers who can work well with others. To embrace 21st century learning, there is a need to create opportunities for students to practice these critical skills through technology-rich experiences.

Learning in the Past

A major difference between 21st century education and education that went before it is the embedding of the 21st century skills in the curriculum. Earlier, skills like problem-solving or decision-making weren’t seen as important because when people left school, they went to work where they were told what to do and if they faced a problem or if a decision had to be made, they just took it to someone higher up rather than making it themselves. But in the modern world, there is more scope for autonomy and decision making at every level, we are all expected to be self-directed and responsible for our own work and autonomy. The 21st century competencies were not covered in yesterday’s schools. Academic rigor was defined by the 3 R’s (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) and the coverage of a large amount of content and knowing the content was more important than understanding it.

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