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Teaching and Assessing 21st Century Skills:…
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Teaching and Assessing 21st Century Skills: The Classroom Strategies…

by Robert J. Marzano

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Just looking at the title of this book, a teacher librarian can’t help getting excited. What has the great Marzano and company have to say about 21st Century Skills? Then, you begin on the Table of Contents. In chapter one, there is a list of major 21st Century documents. The Partnership for 21st Century Learning heads the list. No mention of AASL standards. Then we continue. Chapter 2 covers research and theory and covers the cognitive skills of analyzing and utilizing information, addressing complex problems and issues, creating patterns and mental models, understanding and controlling oneself, and understanding an interacting with others. No mention of information literacy or libraries’. Then comes chapter three: cognitive skills that include navigating digital sources, identifying common logical errors, generating conclusions, presenting and supporting claims. No mention of information literacy or librarians. The chapters go on with the same pattern. Teacher librarians or their contribution to information literacy over the decades totally ignored. Even when we are a part of the foundational document done by P21, we are ignored. Out of ignorance? Purposefully? Our contribution to 21st Century Skills insignificant? Over a decade ago, Blanche Woolls and I did an extensive review of the information literacy research collecting and synthesizing some 280 studies. Perhaps that body of literature is too small to be noticed by anyone except a “librarian.” So, I do what I always do: contact at least one of the authors. Two important things emger from the conversation: a probable unawareness of the research in the field of information literacy, and a sense that school librarians are probably gone from most schools anyway. However, a promise to look by the Marzano research team of materials that they could consider in their further efforts. I will follow up. However, one important point of the conversation and about information literacy research: How many studies referenced were from refereed journals? And, was a meta-analysis done? Those are important questions for the researchers of our field if we are to obtain any “status” outside the field. Now I am going to assemble a gift package. Meanwhile, back to the book. There are valuable pieces in this book for us to consider. They are just incomplete. Lacking a comprehensive view of what really constitutes 21st Century Skills. Perhaps we could consider purchase of a more comprehensive second edition.
  davidloertscher | Nov 14, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0983351201, Perfect Paperback)

As the 21st century unfolds, the pace of change in the world is accelerating while education in the United States remains stagnant or, at best, progresses in isolated pockets. Concern over the effects of an inadequate education system on the nation s economy and innovative potential is growing, and it seems a crisis point is near when the negative aspects of the education system will outweigh the benefits. The consequences of a poorly educated population would be dire, and in order to correct this trajectory, every level of the education system will have to undergo massive changes. Teachers and administrators must lead this cultural shift, which is perhaps as important and massive as the industrial revolution.

In Teaching and Assessing 21st Century Skills the authors present a model of instruction and assessment based on a combination of cognitive skills (skills students will need to succeed academically) and conative skills (skills students will need to succeed interpersonally) necessary for the 21st century. Specifically, this book addresses three cognitive skills (analyzing and utilizing information, addressing complex problems and issues, and creating patterns and mental models) and two conative skills (understanding and controlling oneself and understanding and interacting with others). The authors believe both cognitive and conative skills will be vital to the success of all citizens living and working in the highly varied and quickly changing knowledge economy of the 21st century.

Part of The Classroom Strategies Series, this clear, highly practical guide follows the series format, first summarizing key research and then translating it into recommendations for classroom practice. In addition to the explanations and examples of strategies, each chapter includes helpful comprehension questions to reinforce the reader s understanding of the content to create both short- and long-term strategies for teaching and assessing 21st century skills.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:08 -0400)

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