21st Century Learning – An Ideology

It has been long I have seen a discourse about the “21st Century Learning” as sophisticated and deep as this one by Tobey Steves. I do encourage you to read it in full here  because we often tend to give in to urgency instead of importance. .

NOTE: Text features (bold, underline) are mine.  


“To illustrate the character of this (re/de)-valuation of teachers’ work, it is helpful to highlight the ideological prioritization of skills over content. Pring (2004) understands this economic skills agenda as relying on “the bewitchment of the intelligence by a misuse of language.” Pring critiques the vocationalistic skills strategy by suggesting that a skilled philosopher is not necessarily a good philosopher. A skilled philosopher, for instance, may be quite adept at the mechanics of philosophical argumentation without actually having “anything philosophically interesting to say.” This critique holds for lawyers, authors, musicians, and other professions. Therefore, Pring suggests that “to focus on skills traps us into a limited language which transforms and impoverishes the educational enterprise.” In other words, there may be noble hopes animating the push for skills and embedded in policies, but they may actually “impoverish the educational enterprise.”

In the same way, in my thesis I focus a great deal on learnification—the translation of all there is to know and say about teachers’ work into discourses of learning and learners.” 

Tobey S. ‘s thesis (which you can download here) is a complex one, debating the role of teachers in implementing “21st c Learning (“21st CL is more a policy for and on teachers not WITH them”) and dissecting the educational vs business needs. 



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