The Papillion-La Vista School District is recognized as a leader in Nebraska education, and to maintain the high standards we strive for well into the rapidly changing world of the 21st Century, the District convened 90 members of the community in a workshop to develop a vision for the district for 2020.
The participants included business and community leaders, students, parents, district faculty and administration, and leaders from the State Department of Education. Everyone worked very hard for two days - June 2 & 3, 2010 - to explore the key characteristics of the future, and to develop a proactive, innovative framework to ensure that after 13 years of education, students have the twenty-first century knowledge and skills they need to be productive, responsible citizens in an ever-changing global society.
We used the following four questions to help us design the two day workshop:
- Why do we need an improved model for education in the 21st century?
- What 21st century knowledge and skills do students need to have to transition to the next phase?
- What should a 21st century education look like?
- How will we know if students are ready for the transition: pre-k-12, to college, career and/or community life after 13 years education in PLV?
To provide a context for answering these questions we examined the nature of our changing society, and discussed many of the formative influences that the world will be bringing to our community in the coming years.
Among the key themes we discussed were the important and formative learning experiences we must provide our students to prepare them for life in the 21st Century. In addition to the critical elements of core knowledge, we also developed a list of 21st Century Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions a graduate in the year 2020 would need to master to be successful in whatever they choose to do after 13 years in our district. The list developed by the group fit into broad categories including: Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Creativity and Innovation, Technology and Information Literacy, Intellectual Curiosity, Global Awareness, Inter and Intrapersonal Skills, the Work Environment, Work Ethics, Teamwork, Leadership, and Citizenship.
The workshop concluded with a strong consensus among all the participants that these topics will become key aspects of the educational experience that our district will be providing to students in the coming years.
Throughout the numerous activities during the workshop several themes emerged as aspects of what a 21st Century Education could look like. These included:
- Individual Learning Plans
- Digital portfolios
- Teachers as facilitators
- Community and parent involvement (including community based learning)
- Project based learning (interactive teams, integrated curriculum)
- An active vs. passive learning environment
- Career-readiness integrated with content knowledge
- Global awareness
- Financial Literacy
Finally, the group explored how some of these might be implemented in various levels of schools - Pre-K, Elementary, Middle School, and High School. These ideas will be reviewed by the district and incorporated into a strategic plan for moving forward.
On behalf of the District leaders, we would like to thank all of the participants for their dedicated and enthusiastic participation in this important workshop. The thoughtful sharing and development of ideas made the workshop a pleasure and a great learning experience for us all, and an important landmark in our progress going forward.
Real Time Record
This web site is a record of the event in La Vista as it happened - captured in real time and presented here in this web site. The documentation of the session includes the assignments each group was asked to work on and the results they produced. The large group conversations were documented in text and images as well. The documentation was captured throughout the course of the session and is chronological (in the order that things happened). The text is not a transcription of the large group conversations. Rather, it represents the documenters' synthesis of what was being discussed.
This record is intended to be a reminder to the participants of the conversations that took place during the Workshop, to serve as a stimulus for further conversation and to serve as an artifact of the group's work.
For anyone who was not present at the event reading this, you may lose some of the energy and creativity the participants expressed - and some of the ideas may not translate completely without that context.
Photographs of participants and their work are included throughout the Real Time Record. To view a larger version of a marker board or poster, please click on the thumbnail image. The larger image will open in a new window. Close that window to return to where you were.
Please use the links to the left to learn more about the session. If you have any questions regarding the material posted here please contact Dr. Ron Hanson, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum
Papillion-La Vista Public Schools (402-537-6219) or Michael Kaufman from InnovationLabs at 510-903-0652.