I highly recommend this article to anyone working in the field of education, educational change, and technology studies education:
Voogt and Roblin provide a very useful investigation into the discourse about 21st century learning as it is described in framework documents. They analyzed 32 documents from national, international, and school perspectives. What they found was horizontal consistency across the documents – that is, there were similar concepts and practices described as representing 21st century learning perspectives and practices. They also found common vertical inconsistencies across the literature – that is, a disjunction between the intention of the frameworks documents and their application in practice, as well as assessment criteria.
I was talking to Jo Tondeur yesterday, and he was commenting on how surprisingly similar education systems are structured worldwide. He is working on a study in Kenya right now, and he finds the same kinds of educational perspectives and practices endemic in educational professionals there as he has found in Europe, and I have found in my study here in British Columbia. The challenge for educational relevance is a global problem, not just at the local level. I had a brief chat with Audrey Van Alstyne, District Principal of Learning Technologies in the Vancouver School Board. She was mentioning the difficulty of engaging professional educators to change their practices to incorporate not only ICT affordances, but also the inherent relational and pedagogical changes that are the cultural aspect of incorporating ICT in educational practice.
Voogt and Roblin’s analysis and discussion help to put these issues into a larger perspective. This helps me to realize that my efforts, small though they are, are significant for the greater good.