Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Frame Works: P21 - PIE - bestChoices ....

This blog explores P21, PIE, bestChoices and 21st Century GrandChallenges frameworks relevant to connecting students to the future economy. 

Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21)

During the 90s while teaching at NCA&T University, I wondered “Are we teaching the right things to students?” Since then I have had a passion for exploring various views of education. One which I find has system thinking and covers a lot of the bases are Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21). 
The P21 Framework presents a holistic view of 21st century teaching and learning that combines a discrete focus on 21st century student outcomes (a blending of specific skills, content knowledge, expertise and literacies) with innovative support systems to help students master the multi-dimensional abilities required of them in the 21st century.
The key elements of 21st century learning are represented in the graphic and descriptions below. The graphic represents both 21st century skills student outcomes (as represented by the arches of the rainbow) and 21st century skills support systems (as represented by the pools at the bottom).

While the graphic represents each element distinctly for descriptive purposes, the Partnership views all the components as fully interconnected in the process of 21st century teaching and learning.

The elements described below are the critical systems necessary to ensure 21st century readiness for every student. Twenty-first century standards, assessments, curriculum, instruction, professional development and learning environments must be aligned to produce a support system that produces 21st century outcomes for today’s students.
Twenty-First Century Student Outcomes and Support Systems
·         Download a brief PDF version of the Framework here.
·         Download the full P21 Framework Definitions document.
·         Visit Route 21 for an interactive view of the framework here.

During the 80s I struggled with what was the best way to look at company organizations. We were involved with multi-million dollar projects and in the Management Volume we would always spend exceptional amounts of time on trying to get the hierarchical organization levels to come to agreement on what should be presented to the customer. The customer was primarily interested in who was the principal investigator and who made project and money decisions.

This was the genesis of my starting to think of metaphors that better depicted the critical functions of an organizational entity. When I was teaching at NCA&T, I had a metaphor which addressed the Research, Development, Production/Service and Marketplace. The Department Chair of Manufacturing came up with a diagram which he called BEST to represent Business, Engineering, Science and Technology and used it to coordinate work between the Engineering and Technology Schools. It was at that time I started using the Hats of
bestChoices. Notice that the only letter that is in caps is "C" which represents the Customer which is the most important since they pay for the products or services. After approximately two decades, it still is robust and gives a valid way of thinking inside and outside the box of companies.  Listed below is the breakout of the various functions as originally defined in my initial thinking during the 90s.  This is specifically illustrated in the rotating banner of Building Competitive Services & Wares.
bestChoices   What's in a name?

b - Business - Project Management
e - Engineer - Design & Development
s - Scientist - Applied Research
t - Technologist - Production/Service
C - Customer - Marketplace
h - Human Resources - Knowledge & Skills
o - Outer Core - (Core Common Operational Resource Environment) Paradigm in which company
operates; includes Government, Cultural, Language, Social, Infrastructure, etc 
i - Inner Core - Paradigm within company which supports the innovative engines or sub business units (SBU); includes logistics, financial, image relations, etc. Some functions are often outsourced.
c - Competition - Marketplace
e - Executive - Strategic Management/Financing
s - Sources - Trading Partners (Global Supply Chain)

With only minor changes from the orginal definitions above they are still valid today. A recent emphasis is the Entrepreneurial Productive Innovative Engine (PIE) Team hats which are a subset of bestChoices as noted in bold font.

Entrepreneurial PIE Teams bring to the table a view that we must have a proactive approach to creation of jobs. Drawing on Metaphors from M21C thinking, the concept of planting PIE Teams is a proactive way to get people thinking about the primary functions that create Things and therefore Jobs. A graphic expresses this with emphasis on hands and fingers. A new metaphor for the six hat team is presented using the fingers of a hand and the arm to represent essential functions associated with a viable business.
It is a team that wear the following hats with objective to create new products, services or processes:
  • Business Hat (Entrepreneur/Manager)
  • Customer Hat (Marketplace advocate)
  • Technologist Hat (Production/Service/Processes/Experiences)
  • Engineer Hat (Creative/Functional Design & Development)
  • Scientist Hat (Applied Research)
  • Logistics Hat (Global Supply Chain)
The concept evolved in the authors mind during the 90s when he was teaching at NCA&T. Students were having a difficult time determining where their future careers would be. The concept of a room with four corners was used to give the students an orientation from which they would share with the class where they felt their future would be.
The door of the room represented the marketplace where the customer hat resides, it had a unique understanding of the marketplace and the business and was an advocate of the Customer bringing solutions to fit his needs. Also, he brought the needs of the Customer to the business so they could create products, processes, services or experiences that they needed.
The corner of the room next to the door is the Technologist's Hat which makes specific stuff that the Customer needs. The next corner is where the Engineer Hat resides and does design & development; taking ideas and building prototypes that could be passed to the Technologist for producing high quality, low cost, high performance services and wares. In the next corner is the Scientist Hat doing Research, coming up with new technologies and techniques that the engineer and technologist can use for a competitive edge.
In the Hall is the Logistics (Sourcing) Hat which is concerned with the global supply chain.
Addressing the 14 Grand Challenges which the National Academy of Engineering has identified for the 21st century will require the awareness, commitment, and involvement of many areas of society. To develop the scientific and technological expertise and workforce to address these challenges, we must reach and impact not only the university level, but also the K-12 level-- students, teachers, administrators, and curriculum. Solving these Grand Challenges requires us to develop leaders, technological experts and workers, and an informed workforce and populace, both within and outside of engineering. To achieve this, our goal is to address the Grand Challenges at the K-12 level. 

The NAE GC K12 Partners Program is the way the Grand Challenges get integrated into the lives of K12 students and teachers. To attain “Partner” status, an individual, class, school or district will implement a pathway in collaboration with a GC K12 Partners Program Site.

The Grand ChallengesThe 14 Grand Challenges of the National Academy of Engineering are as follows:

  • ·         Make solar energy economical
  • ·         Provide energy from fusion
  • ·         Develop carbon sequestration methods
  • ·         Manage the nitrogen cycle
  • ·         Provide access to clean water
  • ·         Restore and improve urban infrastructure
  • ·         Advance health informatics
  • ·         Engineer better medicines
  • ·         Reverse-engineer the brain
  • ·         Prevent nuclear terror
  • ·         Secure cyberspace
  • ·         Enhance virtual reality
  • ·         Advance personalized learning
  • ·         Engineer the tools of scientific discovery
  • Implementing the NAE Grand Challenge K-12 Partners Program involves 5 parts which reflect the 5 components approved by the NAE for the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, translated into appropriate K-12 terminology as the “5-Part Make It Happen Plan:”

Elementary School Level Project: How Do Plants Breathe?

An Example is Grand Challenge: Develop carbon sequestration methods

1. Do it:You want to discover how plants breathe (K-3 grade levels) or 
you want to discover how plants take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen (4-5 grade levels).
2. Learn it:You must find out how plants use sunlight for food (K-3 grade levels) or you must research photosynthesis, what it is and how it works (4-5 grade levels).
3. Share it:Decide if you want to work with plants on land or plants in water, and learn about how much light these plants require (K-3 grade levels), or
research which biomes would have the most photosynthesis going on. Remember to examine land and water biomes (4-5 grade levels).
4. Teach it:

5.  Create it:
With the help of your teacher or another adult, place some small tea light candles in the bottom of a shoe box. Ask the adult to light the candles and also to place a piece of dry ice in the bottom of a gallon size Ziploc bag. Wait for the dry ice to disappear (sublimate away). Carefully pour the invisible contents of the plastic bag over the candles in the shoe box. Record what happens. Take a small plant and place it in the bottom of a gallon size Ziploc bag. (The container that the plant is in should have a plastic bag tied around it to expose only the leaves and stem of the plant—so you can turn it upside down and not spill anything.) Place a piece of dry ice in the bottom of the bag. Do not seal the bag until the dry ice disappears (sublimates away), but keep it upright so as not to spill the gas out. After the ice is gone, carefully seal the bag, making sure not to squeeze the gas out at all. Leave the plant over a night or two in your classroom. After that time, get your shoe box with the candles back out and ask the adult to light the candles. Carefully unseal the Ziploc with the plant in it and, holding the Ziploc so as to also keep the plant inside of it, carefully pour the invisible gas inside over the candles. Record what happens (Teacher performs for grades K-3; students with teacher help perform for grades 4-5).

Give some reasons why you saw the things you did in this activity. Teach some other student, group, class, etc. to do this activity and write up the steps for our GC K-12 Website (all grades).

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