Moroccan Education and 21st Century Skills

March 13, 2019

We are in training this week, with sessions on culture and education provided by our host teacher Dr. Miriem Lahrizi. Miriam is coaching us on the reality and challenges of the current system in Morocco. Like us, Moroccan teachers struggle at times in a system that is driven by high-stakes testing and bureaucracy. Like our students, Moroccan students sometimes have to sacrifice creativity for compliance, in order to pursue the most advantageous education.

My guiding question for this journey, a requirement for the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, is about creativity. Rather, it is about so-called 21st Century Skills. Particularly, I am going to be looking for ways in which the education system of Morocco fosters communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. I have those same questions or our systems in the United States. So often, fostering creativity is set aside to emphasize the learning of facts in order to meet the rigors of testing.

The more I see of Morocco, the more I see creativity, art, and overflowing passion. Despite what I am hearing about the system, I know that such vibrant creativity is being fostered. So how? Where? I am feeling an affinity already to those Moroccan teachers and mentors out there that are supporting the next generation of artists, musicians, actors, and poets.

Author:

Most of the time, I am simply "Mrs. Olmos," a busy classroom teacher in a rural district in Southwest Washington State. I teach English, WA State History and Drama to students that range from grades 7-12. I believe in allowing students to use their own creativity and individual voices to enrich learning experiences in my classroom. A typical day in my room includes student-led conversations, collaborative projects, and art supplies. Beyond the classroom, I dedicate myself to many areas of educational leadership. Currently, I am a Fulbright Teacher for Global Classrooms and a member of the leadership team for the Washington Teacher Advisory Council. I am proud to be a National Board Certified Teacher, and a facilitator for National Board Candidate cohorts. Over the years, I have served on committees, panels and cohorts at the district, state and national level. My areas of interest include English Language Arts standards, curriculum and assessment, teacher preparation and certification, equity in rural education, project-based learning, and arts-integrated instruction. In my spare time, I have dogs, horses and and a husband to share my life on a small farm surrounded by green hills and rivers. It's a beautiful life.

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