21st Century Mathematical Skills
It is more than a decade into the 21st century, yet the phrase “21st century skills” is still used widely to highlight the need to update basic education so that it matches the needs of these times. Proponents of DepEd’s K to 12 like to use these keywords to promote the new curriculum. Educators all over the world are likewise pushing for reforms in line with the goal of preparing the youth for the challenges of this century. At this point, it is important to go beyond the surface of these arguments and see what 21st century skills really entail. Without doubt, the set of skills deemed necessary for today’s times would actually depend on who is talking. In order to evaluate whether an education program really meets global standards, these skills must be defined specifically. Otherwise, we may be referring to completely different things (Tan, 2009)
It is generally accepted that due to the ubiquitous presence of technology our society is developing towards an information or knowledge society1. While the information society metaphor is associated with an “explosion” of information and information systems, the knowledge society metaphor primarily refers to economic systems where ideas or knowledge function as commodities (Anderson, 2008, p. 5).
Levy and Mundane (2004) argue that for tasks that are rule based computers are an easy substitute, but computers cannot easily replace humans in tasks that require the interpretation of complex patterns. These more complex tasks can be found in many jobs – for example, the truck driver that has to find his way to deliver goods and the physician diagnosing a patient. In both tasks humans cannot be replaced by computers, but they can be supported by computer-based information at low cost. Not the exchange on information as such has become important, but a particular understanding of information has become an important part of many jobs (Levy & Mundane, 2006). For this reason, new competences – nowadays often referred to as 21st century skills – are being asked for. In addition, it is important to realize that society not only faces a change in the types of jobs that are needed, but that young people nowadays also need to be educated for a job that does not yet exist (Fisch & McLeod, 2009)
Teaching mathematics requires skills, and there is a need to the teachers to update their skills every now and then so that students can cope up to the lesson and learned mathematics with fun and with easiness (Leebart, 2011) It is assumed that for many jobs key tasks are similar. For example, Anderson (2008) lists the following required skills for the knowledge society: 1. knowledge construction, 2. adaptability, 3. finding, organizing and retrieving information, 4. information management, 5. critical thinking and 6. team work. Already in 2002 the European Commission stated that all citizens of the European Union should have the opportunity to acquire a number of so called “key skills”, which are referring to the kind of skills Anderson (2008) has listed. Others (e.g. Law, Pelgrum and Plomp, 2008; OECD, 2004) refer to these skills as lifelong learning competences. The education ministers of OECD countries embraced the concept of lifelong learning in 2004, which covers all purposeful learning activities in a person’s life. In this paper we will use the term 21st century skills or 21st century competences as an overarching concept for the knowledge, skills and dispositions citizens need to be able to contribute to the knowledge society.
Teachers in mathematics use variety of activities to let the students fully understand the context of what he/she is teaching, this may be called the 21st century skills. However teachers needs also to develop his/her skills in teaching mathematics , these maybe improvement of the learning skills of the students , they should improve and innovate their teaching skills so that students can learn mathematic in a different way , teacher also needs to improve his life and career by means of attending different seminars and meetings to improve their teaching strategies for the students to cope up the hard lesson in mathematics and most especially , improving the use of information technology , sad to say , the traditional teachers is gone and replace by the 21st century skills in which in other hand , they were knowledgeable in teaching mathematics with the help of information technology for the betterment of the learners especially in mathematics.