Students’ Ideas about Learning, Working and Living in the Future ~ Valerie Nielsen ~ Superintendent of Education, IT/Library/Media

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in the 21st Century Pilots for System Learning Round Table: Towards a 21st Century Teaching and Learning Strategy for Ontario, hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Council of Ontario Directors of Education.  The majority of this day was spent with sharing among the 47 boards across the province that participated in pilot projects in this area last year.  It was enlightening to learn more about the strategies, experiences and challenges faced across the province, and how they will apply these 21st Century instructional strategies.

A part of the agenda that I found particularly interesting, however, was a presentation which shared the findings of this summer’s Minister’s Student Advisory Committee.  They shared a video from this session and the creation of a mind map from this group in which the students shared their ideas about learning, working and living in the future.  They brought in the actual large poster that was created at that time, and provided each participant with a copy of it (seen here).  While there are many ideas expressed in this illustration, some of the points that stand out are:

  • Students as partners in their education
  • Curriculum: include relevant social issues and new technology
  • Relationships: the basis of future education
  • Teaching financial literacy
  • Using existing resources in new and innovative ways
  • Learning about a changing world
  • Collaboration
  • Connecting emotional and physical well-being with academic success
  • Teach us how to learn
  • Real life situations
  • International focus for teaching and learning
  • Caring for others
  • Student Voice

The next step is to reflect on our own practices and see to what extent we are currently meeting these needs that students have identified, and how we can improve this in the future.  What else can we improve on?  How can we help them learn, work and live in the future in a way that is meaningful to them?

Minister’s Student Advisory Council ideas about learning, working and
living in the future (click to enlarge).

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