AP21 is here!

In June of 2011 Metiri was awarded a Phase 1 small business innovation research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. This six-month award enables Metiri to develop a proof of concept for an assessment portal for 21st Century learning. The proof of concept will provide the foundation for a more comprehensive, Phase 2 grant application to develop the portal across multiple 21st Century Skills, grade levels, and core content areas.

In the long term, Metiri Group envisions this portal as a vehicle for teacher professional growth in 21st Century learning, in the context of the Common Core standards. Through the portal’s digital assets, social media, and online learning, teachers and other educators (e.g., school administrators, curriculum directors, technology directors, higher education faculty, pre-service teachers, etc.) will see the rhetoric of the 21st Century Skills (i.e., critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, self-direction, etc.) translated into practical curricular units/lessons in core subject areas.

Through the portal’s video case studies – which use research on how students best learn, samples of student work, and associated video training – teachers and other educators will learn how curricular units/lessons can be designed and implemented. They will learn how to assess with reliability student progress toward the Common Core standards and 21st Century Skills using rubric-based performances. In addition, school-based team teachers will be able to establish inter-rater reliability for school-wide use of such performance measures.

Policy makers are calling for school reform in the U.S. Reports indicate that 15-year-olds in the U.S. scored 24th out of 28 nations, who are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development  (OECD), on the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) mathematics tests, and 29th on the 2003 problem solving assessments. This clearly indicates there is a strong need for U.S. middle school mathematics teachers to approach critical thinking and problem solving in mathematics in new ways.

In the next six months, Metiri’s proof of concept will focus on a single 21st Century Skill (critical thinking/problem solving) in the context of teaching specific Common Core standards (probability and statistics), at specific grade levels (6-7).

The portal leverages social media and online learning, using digital assets on the site to engage teachers and other educators.