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Are Traditional Teaching Methods Right for Today’s Students?
8 ways to teach to the domains of competency
Who is today’s student?
In order to determine the best way to meet the challenges of teaching 21st Century students, we need to take a closer look at who they are:
Not college ready
More tech savvy
37% of first-year students have a hard time adjusting to the demands of college and university
Want to acquire knowledge quickly as well as skills that can be transferred to the workplace
Leading busy lives, often with family and work responsibilities outside of the demands of school
Today’s students expect that their college or university experience will:
Prepare them for their careers
Relate to job competencies, job seeking and success
Be supported and enhanced by technology
Focus on application and transferable skills rather than just acquiring knowledge
A growing body of research has shown that meeting the needs of today’s students and preparing them for education, life, and work means addressing three domains of competency:
The Cognitive Domain
Reasoning & Argumentation
Cognitive Processes & Strategies
(the ability to reflect on one’s own learning and make adjustments accordingly)
Work Ethic & Conscientiousness
(one’s confidence in the ability to control his/her own motivation, behavior, and social environment)
Persistence & Grit
How to teach to the domains of competency
1. Provide clearly delineated learning goals and a model of the learning process.
2. Represent content and concepts in various ways accompanied by activities.
3. Encourage elaboration, questioning, investigation and explanation.
4. Engage learners in challenging tasks, while supporting them with appropriate scaffolding.
5. Teach with examples and case studies that bring home real-world relevance and show concepts at work.
6. Prime student motivation by connecting with student interests, experience and aspirations.
7. Engage students in collaborative problem solving or other collaboration with a learning purpose.
8. Provide meaningful feedback and invite students to assess their own progress.
National Research Council. Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century, 2012. Committee on Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century
Skills, J.W. Pellegrino and M.L. Hilton, Editors. Board on Testing and Assessment and Board on Science Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Education for Life and Work. Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century. National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, 2012. http:/
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/13398/www.nap.edu/catalog/13398/ education-for-life-and-work-developing-transferable-knowledge- and-skills.