Equipping Today’s Learners with 21st Century Skill Sets
The 21st century is an era that is characterized by progressiveness and diversity brought about by the digital age. Essential skill sets that every learner should possess has been redefined to prosper in this latest wave of modernization. Education’s universal language now extends to broader scopes – from academic performance inside the four corners of the classroom to the creation of learning environments aligned with the real world that would allow learners to master talents and capabilities for long-term success.
This change is evident even with the Philippines’ Educational system as we adopt the K to 12 program. “K” stands for Kindergarten and “12” refers to the succeeding 12 years of basic education (6 years of elementary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school). The new curriculum gives students the chance to choose between three tracks (i.e., Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts) where learning is narrowed down to specific expertise. Immersion is provided so they can be exposed to actual experiences in professions that they can explore under each track. The additional years are also offered to give students sufficient time to master skills and absorb essential competencies. While there is still an ongoing debate as to whether the nation is ready to accommodate student graduates of this new program, it is a clear sign of the shifting trends in education which demands attention from stakeholders and communities surrounding every learner.
REX Book Store, always recognizing what needs to be done to assist in this shift in education, has come up with initiatives to enhance training, programs, and offerings of a symphony of learning solutions to be at par with the 21st century needs. The company partnered with international organizations to lead in offering resources to provide holistic learning. One of these organizations is The Partnership for 21st Century Learning or P21. It is a non-profit organization that aims to bring together the business community, education leaders and policymakers to position the 21st-century readiness at the center of, initially US K-12 education, and eventually to education systems across the globe. This coalition kick-started a conversation on the importance of the 4Cs – Creativity, Communication, Collaboration and Critical Thinking – as core skills to raise a better citizen. With the dawn of the internet, more and more information is now readily available for students. The value that educational institutions offer should exceed teaching of basic literacy. The P21 framework emphasizes the need to shift focus from the traditional knowledge-based education to providing students with skills that would make them apply basic literacy and content to social and emotional character formation. It calls for support systems to be formed and groomed to aid in providing deeper learning that would help learners to master analytic reasoning, problem-solving and teamwork.
Apart from P21, REX Book Store is also an official partner of ASCD, an organization whose sole mission of aiding educators in coming up with effective learning systems led them to create The Whole Child Approach. Similar to P21, the Whole Child Initiative also calls for the collaboration of different sectors of the society to raise a whole child who is ready to take advantage of what the 21st century brings. Five tenets were identified to aid in building a whole learner-healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.
With combined inputs and resources from P21 and ASCD, REX has evolved and enhanced its core mission to unite communities in raising the future citizen of the country. “Tayong Lahat, Kapit Bisig, Para sa Bata, Para sa Bayan” is REX’ . Attention is focused on promoting the formation of “Whole Schools” and the development of “Whole Teachers” by offering relevant instructional resources, assessment tools and professional development programs that are geared towards helping a 21st-century learner thrive. The company also aids in the forming of “Whole Parents” by creating tools and materials that can provide a meaningful learning experience for students even at home.
Change is inevitable. Education is no exception. As the world shifts to a more dynamic, diverse and interactive world, every nation is challenged to create citizens who can respond to technological, demographic and socio-economic changes with confidence. REX understands this fact and has continuously evolved to provide necessary support to groom different sectors of the society in raising the citizen of the future. By providing a foundation for a whole child to prosper, REX hopes that the country could face a more progressive future.
Learn how you can be ready to take on your role in grooming a whole child and join the conversation about how we can all work together for the Whole Child Visit www.wholechild.rexbookstore.ph.