Effective learning in the 21st century is a topic of great interest, Consideration, and writing. One of the graphics that I saved is the one above. You know how it goes all too often… ‘Let me save this now, quickly; I’ll document the source later.’ Well guess what, I have been unable to find that source (obvious – Partnership … – or non-obvious). If you can help me out, I’d sure appreciate it!

As noted, there is an incredible list of such characteristics. This particular list really aligns with my notion of an Effective Learner; and, yes, in the 21st Century! Here’s something I don’t get: Why is the phrase, ‘in the 21st Century’ added so often these days? I don’t think there was a different list that became necessary as we entered the new century. I don’t think the characteristics listed weren’t valued in the 20th Century. Clearly they were much appreciated in the 20th Century – even earlier. Yes, I know, in my formal education in the 1950’s and 1960’s was teacher-controlled. And I do believe I was found to be ‘career-ready and prepared for life’ – in spite of very little emphasis on deep understanding, interdisciplinary thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, … But if one studied career success in the 20th Century (probably has been done) , there would a strong correlation of that success with these characteristics! If not developed in school, where? I’d suggest three sources: (1) Some educators did facilitate development of such skills; (2) some students did control their learning; and (3) many organizations facilitated such skills development for new hires.

Interesting, hopefully… maybe, but irrelevent. In 2016, the efforts of educators must be on facilitating the EFFECTIVE LEARNING of all students!!! To that end, I’ll be facilitating a Twitter #OklaEd chat on Sunday, February 14th, beginning at 8:00 CT / 9:00 ET based upon this graphic. Likely questions will include the following:

  • Introduce yourself and tell us a little about your Valentine day.
  • Clearly there is not enough time to get broad and deep learning on all important worldwide topics. How can any educator best address ‘broad, deep understanding of the world’ then?
  • Is / are there any issue(s) or concern(s) with facilitating and assessing interdisciplinary connections?
  • Does teacher control preclude student creativity and critical thinking? Limit them?
  • Can students develop teaming skills simply by addressing team assignments?
  • What are effective options for student communication of efforts made?
  • What’s the connection, if any, between student control and ‘creating, evaluating, utilizing information’?
  • Which is more important as an education outcome – career-ready or prepared for life? Why?
  • What does Effective Learning mean to you? Do you facilitate it in your classroom?
  • Please share your favorite reference aligned with tonight’s chat.

Please join me and many others at 8:00 CT / 9:00 ET on Sunday, February 14th, on Twitter using the hashtag, #OklaEd, for our discussion of (21st Century) Effective Learning.



  1. paulanz

    It’s p21.org! that’s the site for the Partnership for 21st C Skills 🙂
    I completely agree – these skills are not just for the 21st Century… Will Richardson just mentioned this on modernlearners.com which I follow. I do however think that the 4Cs (or 5, if you include Character/grit) are essential for those who want to have lots of options as adults (don’t we all), as the innovation age replaces more human cognitive labor with technology. And more than ever just doing well in school isn’t a golden ticket for your future…

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