We know the future belongs to those who can adapt quickly to the ever-changing landscape that has moved from a need for industrial workers to information and knowledge workers to conceptual workers. Students live in a global community and will compete in a global marketplace. Their success depends on adding flexible skills to their toolkits. The role of the classroom is changing in this context. It is critical that students and educators be able to cultivate attributes that will serve them and society to help transform learning for the 21st century learner. Students need to use resources and tools to inquire, think critically, gain knowledge, draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.
Students have unprecedented access to diverse and independent information. Learning has taken on new dimensions with the expansion of information, rapidly changing research and communication tools. With a heightened demand for critical thinking and collaborative problem solving, students must develop the skills to become lifelong learners. Educators are critical to the process of guiding students to make sense of new information in order to draw their own conclusions, create new knowledge, and share their knowledge with others in an increasingly global society.
Educational systems are archaic when compared to how the world is operating. Schools have been built on a 19th century business model of a production line. Businesses today are calling for something much different from potential hires. According to Fortune 500 companies, the top thirteen most desirable traits of an employee in order of importance are: teamwork, problem solving, interpersonal skills, oral communication, listening skills, personal career development, creative thinking, leadership, goal setting/motivation, writing, organizational effectiveness, computational skills, and reading skills. Within the sections of this course, participants can expect to learn how to successfully engage their students to work cooperatively and collaboratively as they work together to THINK, CREATE, SHARE and GROW interdependently