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The Essential Skills for Any Century

The Huffington Post – David Scott Clegg

“21st century skills. Throughout the world, we are talking about 21st century skills as if these particular skills have found their place in this particular time in the evolution of humanity. For those less familiar, the skills I speak of include: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, adaptability…So how is it we have arrived at these particular skills, abilities as current food for thought? Why so much attention paid to them at this time?…As a global society, we have achieved unprecedented means of acquiring vast amounts of data, knowledge, information…Yet knowledge unto itself is a dead end, unless it is brought into functioning relationship with situations, circumstances, issues and events…With these 21st century skills we are really speaking of the bridge-building skills and abilities required to put knowledge and information into working action, responsibly so.”(more)

Learning how to learn: A look at STEM

The Ottawa Herald – Jeanne Stroh

“Success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know. It is more important than ever that we equip our students with the knowledge and skills to solve tough challenges, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of complex information. We, the nation and the world face complex problems that can be solved with the right information, the right skills, and the right collaboration abilities…Our kids must be prepared to think deeply and to think well, so that they have the chance to be innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most challenging issues facing our world. Our kids’ success depends on what we do every day. The success of our nation and the world depends on how willing we are to be innovative in educating this generation. It’s time we take a real look at STEM plus arts…”(more)

Creative new teaching method brings ‘hero moments’ to students in south-west Sydney

NEWS- Nick Dole

“A new teaching method being trialled in New South Wales, which incorporates games and physical theatre, is allowing each student a chance to shine.High school teacher Catherine Myers said she used to dread her Monday morning science class.For the past 10 weeks she has been part of a trial involving a new teaching method, which involves students spending less time reading and writing, and more time on their feet.”They’re doing it through theatre, through games, through play rather than books and writing,” she said.She said there had been a “monumental” improvement in results.”(more)

Innovation and creativity: Australia needs an innovation ‘skunkworks’

The Conversation- Marcus Foth from Queensland University of Technology

“Malcolm Turnbull has been heralded as the new “innovation PM”. Expectations are high that he must now translate his rhetoric around agility, disruption, entrepreneurship into concrete economic policies.Both Glenn Withers, Professor of Economics at Australian National University, and myself have argued that we need not just STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), but also researchers from the social sciences, arts, design and the humanities contributing to innovation.Several commentators have called for better support of innovation, such as Mark Dodgson, Director, Technology and Innovation Management Centre, The University of Queensland, Tony Peacock, Chief Executive of the Cooperative Research Centres Association, Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, and Jenny Stewart, Professor of Public Policy, UNSW Australia.”(more)

Child education expert Professor Carla Rinaldi warns apps can kill creativity Editor

“HOMEWORK overload and classroom rivalry are “ruining” Australian children, an international education leader warned yesterday. Professor Carla Rinaldi – president of the global Reggio Children movement, based in Italy – said children were relying too much on technological “apps” instead of their own ingenuity and imagination.And she urged parents and teachers to give children the “greatest gift” – time.”There is this obsession to pass from one activity to another,” she said during a visit to Australia sponsored by the nation’s biggest childcare chain, Goodstart Early Learning.”(more)

Scientific proof that creative people have messy desks Editor

“Scientists in America have proven what the hopelessly messy among us have secretly hoped they’d discover one day. Yes, messy desk people are more creative. Published in the Journal Psychological Science , the study by three researchers from the University of Minnesota has the somewhat cumbersome title: Physical Order Produces Healthy Choices, Generosity, and Conventionality, Whereas Disorder Produces Creativity. “Order and disorder are prevalent in both nature and culture,” the authors write in their intro.”(more)