University of Twente Student Theses


Implementing 21st Century Skills in Dutch secondary education

Klaver, Bernadette Maria (2014) Implementing 21st Century Skills in Dutch secondary education.

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Abstract:Our society changes from an industrial to a knowledge society. The traditional focus on knowledge requires to be substituted by 21st Century Skills, competences that are necessary for working in future real-life contexts. These skills demand significant changes in the curriculum. Teachers need to be supported to implement these 21st Century Skills in their daily practices. Therefore, a theoretical framework was made to help teachers implement 21st Century Skills into the existing curriculum. The existing curriculum was identified by two models. First, Bloom’s taxonomy represented classifications of different kinds of learning. Second, three visions of learning distinguished different visions of the way teachers teach. The appraisal of this SBV framework, based on 21st Century Skills, Bloom’s taxonomy and visions of learning, was the first phase of this study. Furthermore, the SBV framework was integrated into the application ‘WegWijzer’, made in cooperation with Microsoft Nederland. The WegWijzer was an application to support teachers implementing 21st Century Skills into their daily practices. The second phase of this study investigated if the WegWijzer made a change in secondary teachers’ practices and perceptions and identified which characteristics the SBV framework and its application should have. Conclusion of this study was that a framework based on 21st Century Skills, Bloom’s taxonomy and visions of learning should use clear definitions, should use explanations written from the same point of view, should be based on enough academic literature, should base its starting point from the purpose of the framework, and should include practical examples. Following teachers, an application based on this framework, should include clear practical examples, should include a clear description of Bloom’s taxonomy, should illustrate on which spot a teachers is in the application, and should be written in Dutch. Furthermore, current teachers’ practices included 21st Century Skills, but the use of these skills was quite thin. Nevertheless, teachers thought it is important to implement 21st Century Skills for children’s future. The intervention of an application based on the framework had small to no effects. Teachers scored themselves as if they used less 21st Century Skills, but they implemented some activities with regard to these skills. There were no indications that these activities were implemented structurally. This study emphasized the relevance to support teachers to implement 21st Century Skills, since this study concluded the SBV framework and its application was not enough to make a change in teachers’ daily practices. Though, the use of practical examples should be the starting point for a new form of teachers’ support towards the implementation of 21st Century Skills in the classroom. Government should act as an influencer to further support teachers towards this implementation.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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