Education is always evolving; the curriculum, the teaching and the activities are changing every year. At Hollis Brookline, students and teachers are now looking into a new subject called 21st Century Skills. These skills are defined in four categories:
Ways of thinking. Creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning
Ways of working. Communication and Collaboration
Tools for working. Information and communications technology (ICT) and information literacy
Skills for living in the world. Citizenship, life and career, and personal and social responsibility (Source: National Council of Teachers of Education)
In a faculty meeting, teachers were divided into working groups of 15-20 teachers and discussed 21st Century Skills. Jennifer Given, a social studies teacher and the advisor of Student Council, made it clear that we need to strive for this plan. Given said, “I am excited about the faculty and the students working for a common goal.” With this being a collaborative effort between teachers and students, it gives students another chance to work together outside of the classroom. This will take a while to fully implement.
The students are also working on a plan for 21st Century Skills similar to faculty. In Grand Council, made up of 35 students, they are developing similar action items by talking to students about their individual needs. But not only are Grand Council members talking to current HB students but recent graduates as well. Former Hollis Brookline student Matt Bonta, Class of 2009 , said, “I wished I learned more about Excel, and Powerpoint because you need these tools in the real world.” Ben Aulbach ‘14 said, “If you observe how quickly the ‘computer’ as a technology has advanced in the past 30 years, it is clear that computers will have an enormous impact in the years to come.” Aulbach is a passionate student who understands that math and science will move us into the future of the 2020 job market.
Hollis Brookline may be seeing some progressive changes in the next couple of years. This could change the way our teachers teach and how our students learn. Regardless, Michael Fox, an English teacher at HB, states that “We should make sure people learn 19th Century skills.”