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Archive for March, 2010

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills “rainbow” shows an ideal modern education as containing not just core subjects, but also:

  • Life and Career Skills,
  • Learning and Innovation Skills, and
  • Information, Media & Technology Skills.

When defining these categories, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills says that children should learn to:

  • be flexible and adaptive,
  • work in a self-directed way,
  • attain cross-cultural skills,
  • be productive,
  • exhibit leadership qualities and
  • think critically.

If there is one solid way to accomplish these things, it is through cultivating an ability to pay attention to what is happening in a given situation or, in the larger context, in the student’s own life.  As an educator, I know that teachers and parents expect children to know how to attend.  I love this quote from NYT writer Patricia Brown’s article, “In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind”:

Parents and teachers tell kids 100 times a day to pay attention.  But we never teach them how.

I would argue that the most appropriate tool for actually teaching students to pay attention is through mindfulness.

Do you use mindfulness techniques with your own children at home?  Are you a teacher who is bringing your own mindfulness practice into the classroom?  How do you think mindfulness training fits into the matrix of 21st Century Skills?

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