Definition Of The 21st Century Essay

Definition Of The 21st Century Essay

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To define 21st century learning we first need to accept that many of the traditional methods of teaching are no longer relevant in our high tech, super-connected fast paced society. The recent rapid pace of change has been such that the term itself may no longer be relevant taking into account it was coined in the later part of the 20th century. Considering this and the fact that we are halfway through the second decade of the 21st century is it merely describing the current learning practices and not looking far enough into the future for the needs of students, teachers and educational institutions? As was discussed by Bolstad, Gilbert, McDowell, Bull, Boyd & Hopkins (2012) does a new term such as ‘future learning’ need to be adopted to adequately keep up with and describe the needs of our increasingly globalised, instantly connected, digital and media saturated society.
For the purpose of this paper where the focus is on why there is the need to change education, 21st century learning will continue to be used to avoid confusion. Given the instant access to a virtually limitless amount of information online 21st century learning involves moving away from merely memorising subject matter to later regurgitate in a standardised test. It consists of developing a new skill set for students which Wagner (2008) lists as
• Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
• Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence
• Agility and Adaptability
• Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
• Effective Oral and Written Communication
• Accessing and Analysing Information
• Curiosity and Imagination
Although some of these characteristics may be found in traditional education practices, the way in which they are taught has needed to evolve given this s...

... middle of paper ...

... globalisation and the above social factors it is clear the classrooms of today have to progress and evolve to keep up with this rapidly changing world. It’s not just the content of the curriculum that needs to be altered but the methods by which it is delivered. Teachers need to structure lessons and deliver information in such a way as to spark interest and engage students via new practices that traditional methods simply cannot do. Further with our ever increasing multi-cultural society it is of upmost importance that educators understand this, they are no longer teaching a classroom of students from similar backgrounds. This should form some of their guiding principles, seeking to instil children with a global perspective, embracing others encouraging peace and an acceptance of a diverse community all contributing to and inspiring their personal growth.

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