Essential Conditions for 21st C Learning Organizations

The Metiri Group's Dimension 21 framework, which served as the foundation and guiding model for RVS' transformational journey towards becoming a 21st C learning organization, outlines 7 essential conditions for 21st Century learning in schools. They are:

1. Vision - There is a forward-thinking vision in place for 21st Century Learning. That vision was collaboratively developed, widely communicated, and is grounded in education research.  Educators (at all levels), students, the community, and other stakeholders are fully committed to the vision.

2. Systems Thinking - Leaders are using the district vision for 21st Century Learning as a design element in policy development, setting of standards, and prioritizing investments. They have set high expectations and definite timelines for implementation of 21st Century Learning. As a result, curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, and accountability are aligned to that vision. There is a culture of creativity and innovation grounded in research that ensures the district will stay current.

3. 21st Century Skills - In virtually every classroom, significant purposeful effort is being made to promote 21st C Skills and Learning for all students. 21st Century Skills have been integrated into all curricula as appropriate and rich, and authentic learning is a core characteristic of virtually all instruction.

4. Learning Environments - Innovative communities of learning have been established in every learning site throughout the district. Within such cultures, educators have been empowered to shift practices in ways that fully engage students in deep, authentic learning, which is facilitated by thoughtful uses of technologies, including Web 2.0. Teachers are making collaborative decisions informed by research and professional literature, discussing and debating the concepts with colleagues, and then jointly shifting practices. Students and teacher have access to resources 24/7 via technology. Students are guided by teachers in self and peer assessment.

5. Educator Proficiency - All teachers are expected to be expert both in knowledge of the science related to 21st Century Skills and Learning and in the practice known to develop these skills. These concepts have been embedded in all professional development related to teaching and learning and teacher skill in this area can be observed in virtually every classroom.

6. Access and Infrastructure - Visitors to the school or district immediately recognize a 21st Century environment. Technology access is seamless and ubiquitous. All stakeholders have immediate access to the data that they need to support teaching and learning and problems are immediately solved through service-oriented support. New technologies are quickly evaluated and where found to be valuable, are incorporated in well-organized refresh cycles.

7. Accountability - All stakeholders are held accountable for high performances related to the district's vision for 21st Century Learning. The district has clearly articulated what is expected at all levels, in every facet of 21st Century teaching, learning, and leading. Leaders have prioritized funding to ensure strong support. The district has metrics, measures, and processes in place to ensure accountability. Data-driven decision making is embedded in the culture and is informing decision making and progress. As a result, the district is tracking outcomes for 21st Century leading, learning, and teaching, and is seeing progress toward the goals.



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