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Week Two: 21st Century vs. Core Knowledge INDT 501-01

Posted by on September 7, 2013

How can we incorporate 21st Century knowledge and core knowledge ideas into the current curriculum that students receive?

After reviewing multiple points of view and trying not to be bias as I researched, I found myself continuing to fall to the 21st Century skills side. I chose this side because it opens up the opportunity for students to be successful in their futures by preparing them to think creatively. I find myself asking, “how can we let the world around us change, but not change what the students learn along with it?” If we did not allow for a change in the curriculum and in ourselves, we would be setting up students for failure. According to Churches (2008), even if you’re a 21st Century teacher and have a 21st Century classroom, you will only be a 21st Century teacher if how you teach changes as well. I understand that students need to learn history, science, literature, and how to incorporate teamwork into the real world, however they need more. The fact of the matter is, that the real world is technology based and require our students to know how to handle that shift. To do this we must change our theory of teaching, this is called a pedagogy.

Some like to think that technology is hurting our children’s learning capabilities while others think that it is improving it. I believe that it COULD hurt our children’s learning capabilities IF it is not used properly or taught to them the correct way. I believe this because I see it every day in the high school. Teaching high school business classes allow for me to experience students in a computer lab daily. If I were to not give students responsibility and contribution to my class, they would then be tempted to use the computers for inappropriate use. By giving each student a responsibility to be completed to help the class be exciting and move forward in a positive way, it allows the students to focus and use the technology appropriately.

According to Churches (2008), how we teach must reflect how our students learn. We must not only reflect on this idea, but we must be willing to change our ways of teaching. My opinion about these two ideas stays strong after reading through the suggested articles. I also believe Churches idea (2008), this world is rapidly changing, connecting, adapting, and evolving which in turn means our style and approach to teaching must emphasize the learning in the 21st Century. It is important to connect these ideas to our future generations to help build strong problem solving, teamwork dynamics, and incorporate core knowledge.

Reflecting on how your teaching style must also change, it is helpful to maintain a visual of what 21st Century classroom management might look like. An example of a 21st Century pedagogy would be as follows (Churches 2008):


You may be thinking to yourself, “Well what about the core curriculum knowledge? When will that be implemented?” I believe that as students are given responsibility, they will learn the material they are required to research. Knowing this, we can conclude that a student will still maintain their sense of the subject and not knowingly be using critical thinking. Just because we are using technology for lesson research and activities, does not mean that a student is being deprived of language, spelling, and grammar. The use of social networking and use of technology outside of school is what may hurt those subjects. That is where it is important that we implement these lessons in the current curriculum so we can teach students how to properly use the technology in front of them to submit a high quality assignment that will prepare them for their future knowledge tests. This is the main point that we are missing when we argue each side. We need to be more creative about how we can bring technology and other information all together in one place. It is a must to provide our students and younger generations with how to handle the real world and all it has to offer, technology included.


Churches, A. (2008). 21st Century Pedagogy. Retrieved from

3 Responses to Week Two: 21st Century vs. Core Knowledge INDT 501-01

  1. aabrams

    I agree that students should be given structure in the classroom when using computers or technology. When I was a high school student, if we were given assignments that we could complete quickly, we would speed through our assignment and spend the rest of class playing games or using our time inappropriately. I like that you mentioned that just because you are using technology in the classroom, it doesn’t mean that you’re ignoring the core knowledge. I also believe that using 21st century skills doesn’t mean that you’re avoiding core knowledge, they go hand in hand.

  2. clang

    I definitely agree with how we need to use technology to show our students the outside world. I feel that in response to people who fear what technology could do to our students, especially considering all the time spent on facebook and texting, that as educators we especially need to show students the proper uses of technology, which is why it should be implemented in our classrooms.

  3. hperucci

    Brittany, I really like your focus on the necessary pedagogical shift encouraged by Churches’ wiki. I was reading about the common core standards focus to education, and was trying to remain unbiased as well. I really do believe that without changing our methods and practices, we do set our students up to become unable to become progressive thinkers. Technology use when bringing these “twenty-first century” skills must be handled by students appropriately, and must be assessed carefully so we as educators can ensure that they are making progress towards meeting their learning objectives and goals.

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