Now that we have designed the Physical and Social/Emotional Environments of the classroom and the campus, we can turn our attention toward the Academic Environment. Guided by the 3 Compasses to 21st Century Education we design the academic environment. These elements should be in place for a high quality, 21st century academic environment:
See Anne's article on high expectations and how you can make student motivation, engagement and achievement soar!
"“At some level, once you realize that you’re in water too deep to stand, you have to have a very different approach, which is basically: Plans don’t work, mapping doesn’t work. You need a compass and a trajectory and some values to figure it out as you go along.” Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab
See Anne's posts on LinkedIn for many excellent strategies with more coming to this site soon!
Years ago when I was designing project-based, interdisciplinary curriculum units I decided to create some kind of graphic which I could use to ensure I was incorporating the most important elements into my design. I had a rubric for creating a unit, but I wanted something that was on one page so that I could take a quick glance at it. So I created 2 compasses. The first one was Critical Attributes of 21st Century Education. After working on that I realized I needed a second compass, and that was Multiple Literacies for the 21st Century. This helped me to be intentional in creating learning experiences which would help students develop these literacies. The majority of educators still believe that literacy means the old 3 Rs - Reading, Writing and Math, or "reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic". However life in the 21st century requires much more than that, so I created a compass which included eight literacies. They aren't the only literacies (there are many more), but these were the most critical to me for designing a rigorous, relevant curriculum. Later I added the third compass, 7 Survival Skills for the 21st Century, after reading Tony Wagner's book, The Global Achievement Gap.