Panel Discussion on “21st Century Skills”

by Robert Pondiscio
February 20th, 2009

Lots of blogging lately about the 21st Century skills movement.  Now, E.D. Hirsch, Diane Ravitch, Dan Willingham and Ken Kay, the President of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills will have at it at a panel discussion in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Feb. 24, titled “What is the Proper Role of Skills in the Curriculum? A critique of the idea of 21st century skills.”  Details on the program, which is hosted by Common Core and moderated by its co-chair, Antonia Cortese are here.  If you’d like to attend send an email to info@commoncore.org.

Linda Darling-Hammond Gives Props to Core Knowledge

by Robert Pondiscio
February 20th, 2009

Tout le blogs, following Politics K-12′s lead, note that Linda Darling-Hammond will not be joining the Obama administration as many expected, but has instead opted to remain at Stanford.  Another interesting LDH note appeared in the form of a letter to the editor of this morning’s Boston Globe. Titled “Knowledge, skills are not mutually exclusive goals” Darling-Hammond responds to a recent op-ed by Kathleen Madigan of the Pioneer Institute:

We note that many of the Core Knowledge schools of E.D. Hirsch, whom Madigan cites in her attempt to polarize, develop solid knowledge and rigorous thinking skills through a project-based curriculum, defying the silly idea that we can’t develop both knowledge and skills in our schools.

I’m not sure where Professor Darling-Hammond (and DFER’s Joe Williams, who helped author it) got the idea that the Core Knowledge curriculum is “project-based” (it’s up to teachers to use their professional judgement to decide how to teach the material), but her observation that solid knowledge and rigorous thinking skills are not mutually exclusive is certainly welcome–as is her citing the accomplishments of Core Knowledge schools. 

Alas, several reports cite a seriously ill family member as a prime reason for Darling-Hammond staying in California.  We pray it proves to be not serious, and wish her well.