Mike McMahon AUSD
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Vision 2020 - Education in Alameda

May, 2011

Education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another.

Education is the process by which people learn:

  • Instruction refers to the facilitating of learning, by a tutor or teacher.
  • Teaching refers to the actions of an instructor to impart learning to the student.
  • Learning refers to those who are taught, with a view toward preparing them with specific knowledge, skills, or abilities that can be applied upon completion.

After viewing the video below, I began to wonder what specific knowledge, skills or abilities need to be applied (i.e. learning) by our students before leaving Alameda Unified School District. Are students leaving AUSD prepared for the 21st century? 

In 2012, I came across a slide deck prepared by Charles Fadel that examines the imperative for 21st Century knowledge and skills. The 53 slides look at a number of dimensions of developing 21st century knowledge and skills. In 2009, the Center of Public Education published an 83 page paper Defining a 21st Century Education. In 2012, Connecticut Superintendents developed a position paper on 21st Century education.However, lest we forget for learning to happen good teaching needs to occur based on sound instruction principles.


I created a diagram to attempt to depict what I believe is essence of the learning that needs to take place. There are three layers:

  1. Knowledge: Core subjects and 21st themes
  2. Skills: Life & Learning Skills, Learning & Innovation Skills, and Information, Media & Technology Skills
  3. Abilities in: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Culture and Connection.

These three layers are supported by schooling that takes place in a time, place with content delivered via some method.



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Last modified: May, 2011

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