Landfill Harmonics and 21st-Century Skills
As educators, knowing about the 21st-century skills is important, and being able to recognize the skills within specific examples is an indicator that you truly understand them and how they work in application. In Week One, we discussed the story of Caine and his arcade as a way to explore how culture influences creativity, imagination, and inventiveness. In this discussion, we go a step further by considering 21st-century skills in relation to another inspiring story of creativity, imagination, and inventiveness.
The Landfill Harmonic project showcases the story of a garbage picker, a music teacher, and a group of children from a Paraguayan slum that, out of necessity, started creating instruments entirely out of garbage found in a landfill. Children who ordinarily would drop out of school to sift through garbage in search of salvageable recyclables became involved in learning to play instruments together and formed an orchestra out of instruments they crafted. Valuing the arts and encouraging students to become involved in cross-cultural projects (such as participation in an orchestra) reflect excellent examples of learning contexts and strategies that can promote 21st-century skills, particularly the 4Cs within the Learning and Innovation skills category: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication, and collaboration.
Your reflections on this story will provide a rich backdrop for learning more about the impact that social and cross-cultural skills have on the more academic pursuit of keeping children engaged in learning 21st-century skills. After reviewing this week’s Instructor Guidance material, you will have a good working knowledge of social and cross-cultural skills and will be able to recognize how they might support the learning of 21st-century skills, especially within the Landfill Harmonic project.
Initial Post: View the Landfill harmonic amazing and inspirational video about the Landfill Harmonic project and then view more specific information about the project on its official website. Next, review the Framework for 21st century learning web page. Then, create an initial post that addresses the following in at least one paragraph for each:
This discussion focuses on identifying the economic, technological, social and personal factors outside of school that can result in barriers to academic success inside school. From Week One’s readings of the course text and the assessments related thereto, you should now be familiar with the research that describes the relationship between factor of social class and school success, the impact of diversity on learning, and the importance of family involvement. These factors represent powerful variables outside school that impact learning inside school. For this discussion, discuss factors in your own life, outside of school growing up and the direct and indirect relationships with your learning experiences inside of school. Be sure to review the Week Two Instructor Guidance for additional information that can assist you in excelling in all assessments for this week.
Initial Post: Create an initial post that describes the relationship between a challenge you faced outside school from one or more of the following areas: economic, technological, social and personal. Next, describe how your challenge may have contributed to your academic and/or social success inside the classroom. Additionally, describe a challenge you are currently experiencing, noting whether it is an economic, technological, social, or personal challenge or combination of one or more of these areas. Please only share about challenges that you are comfortable discussing with the class. Finally, conclude your initial post with a consideration of how the current challenge is influencing your ability to achieve academically and/or socially.
In this assignment, you will reflect on the story of Nick Perez and analyze it based on what might have happened differently if Nick’s education targeted the learning of 21st century skills through culturally relevant learning opportunities. Additionally, you will recommend a culturally relevant learning experience that might have been able to meet Nick’s needs in high school. Review the Instructor Guidance for this week for additional information and use the Ladson-Billing (1995) resource and Chapter 4 of Wardle (2013) to define a culturally relevant learning experience; apply this framework to the creation of solutions. Then, create your formal written assignment to meet the content and written communication expectations stated below.
Written Communication Expectations
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