The Malta Review of Educational Research (MRER) within the Faculty of Education, University of Malta organised its first Summer Institute from 17 to 21 July 2017. The theme of the Institute was ‘Teaching Writing Critically for 21st Century Skills’. It was co-directed by Prof. Carmel Borg, Editor of the MRER; Dr Sandro Spiteri, founding Head of the Malta Writing Programme (MWP) from 2001 to 2011; and Ms Jane Farrugia Buhagiar, Education Officer and Head of the MWP up to 2016.
21st Century skills are typically described as the skills, knowledge and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st century. In the Maltese education policy context, they can be used as tools to promote equity and social justice in an increasingly complex and asymmetrical world. When writing is combined with learning innovation, technology and thinking skills, it can become a powerful tool to transform the teaching/learning environment and effectively address 21st century cross curricular themes.
The 11 selected participants of the MRER 2017 Summer Institute, all experienced teachers or educational leaders, learnt how to use specific writing strategies and technologies in a learning environment that mirrored the ethos of the strategies themselves. The Institute was composed of a mix of practical workshops that interfaced writing, 21st C. skills and discussion sessions on concept mapping, multimodality, the emancipatory educational work of Don Lorenzo Milani, and the MWP approach to school development. Further information on the Institute, including the writings and feedback of the participants, is available online.