Writing

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 (please click here for a written transcript of the video) 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:

  • Describe the Learning and Innovation (4Cs) as well as Life and Career Skills from the Framework for 21st Century learning that you perceive the students learned and applied as a result of their participation in the Landfill Harmonic project.
  • Describe the cultural competencies you perceive were demonstrated by the students in the Landfill Harmonic project (these are summarized in the Instructor Guidance for this week).
  • Describe the social factors and attitudes you perceive were needed to initiate the project, including a consideration of the cross-cultural skills that may be necessary for supporters to sustain the Landfill Harmonic project.

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