We are happy to share the great news, that Leonard Sommer had the great opportunity to be part of the german remake of the amazing education documentary 21:21, that Learning Activist, TEDxTokio and Tokyo International School founder Patrick Newell already produced in 2009. Even if you don´t understand German – the movie is mostly in English language. It had been produced by the German education association EDUCATION Y in cooperation with Patrick.
Filmed in nine different countries, 21:21 followed Patrick Newell already in 2009 as he guided classes of children from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds though a series of projects. Along the course of his journey he had been introduced to parents, teachers, and leading thinkers on education, who shared their views on the state of education today, and specifically on the ways in which it is failing today’s children.
Importantly however, the film doesn’t dwell on the problems, but instead focuses on providing solutions. Having laid out the needs of today’s learners – for example the need to have an understanding of global issues at a local level, the need to be able to work collaboratively with people from a variety of backgrounds, and the ability to think for themselves – the movie provides concrete examples of this style of learning in action.
One of 21:21’s core themes is that of ‘Parents as the Primary Educators’. With children typically spending less than 20% of their time in schools, it only makes sense that parents actually play a far bigger role in their child’s learning – whether or not they are aware of that. The film shows how by being conscious of a child’s educational needs, parents can bring enormous value to their learning process through everyday activities.
Leading thinkers on education also contribute to the narrative. David Perkins, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is damning in his commentary on traditional education systems, saying “90% of what we typically teach is a waste of time.” He goes on to explain that we need to be teaching children to deal with the unexpected, not with what is already known
Whilst there is much talk of the need to change education to meet the needs of today’s learners, there remains a great deal of fear and uncertainty amongst parents, teachers and administrators. The adoption of these practices and integration into existing learning and assessment systems, along with increased collaboration with parents, can at first glance seem somewhat daunting – but it needn’t be. Whilst some might argue that we’d need a revolution (and additional budgets) to see any significant change in global teaching methodologies, 21:21 demonstrates how it is possible to introduce relevant, engaging and compelling learning techniques without these.
21:21 is now available for screening around the world. If you would like to hold a showing for your local community, your school or your colleagues, please contact the 21st Foundation under E-Mail: contact (at) 21foundation.com
Looking for the original 60-minute version of 21:21? Click here to view or download!