Fluencies in the 21st Century

The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler

“In a time of drastic change, it is the unlearners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists”. Eric Hoffer

These two quotes by two well known and well respected authors echo the words of many who study future trends. It is ironic that what we have learned, even things that may have made us successful, cannot actually be detrimental for us going forward. It is very difficult to change an idea that is firmly embedded in our mind.

In an age when there is an overwhelming amount of information directed towards our students, they will need to be more than just literate. Literacy is NOT Enough (also available through iTunes), a recent book by Lee Crockett, Ian Jukes, and Andrew Churches, explains that the future requires fluency. They submit that there are 5 areas that students need to develop fluency:

1) Solution Fluency             2) Information Fluency              3) Creativity Fluency      4) Media Fluency                 5) Collaboration Fluency           6) Global Digital Fluency

As they point out, it is not just a matter of ever changing technology, it is matter of changing our thinking and our current mindset. While it is very important for our children, we, teachers and parents, must have a “growth” mindset about learning. An example used by the authors is the difference between being able to understand and speak a language and being fluent in a language. From the book: “The literacy level does not contain the fundamental skills our students need for their life beyond school. We need to raise the bar.”

In the upcoming posts, I will explain each of the fluencies and how we are implementing some of these ideas into the English Language Arts classes.




One response to “Fluencies in the 21st Century

  1. Effiong Umana

    great insights.

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