How To Improve Education For The 21St Century Learners

By Allyson Burke

The ability for students to flourish in an ever changing world is dependent on Education for the 21st Century providing them with a solid foundation that will see them become critical thinkers. Developing a deep understanding of knowledge is more crucial than ever and in order to achieve this, the way students are taught needs to change. Teachers need to cater for each child individually to ensure their learning needs are being met in the best possible way. Developing general capabilities, knowledge, skills and behaviors that will allow these students to function to their full potential is the key.

Literacy and Numeracy will always be integral to any school curriculum. Issues that will also need take priority will include building and understanding relations with Asian countries, sustainability, and heritage and culture. Being exposed to issues such as these will help develop an ability to discuss them critically because they will be understood. These are contemporary issues that will have an impact in the future.

Meeting the needs of students can be assisted by including general capabilities in the curriculum. Current systems, curriculum and policies will need to be changed in order to achieve this. Helping learners to develop positive relationships, improve their work habits and to know how to manage and understand themselves involves exposing students to personal and social capabilities. This exposure will also assist with the expression of opinions and beliefs, with the ability to deliver these confidently in a range of social contexts.

Information and Communication Technologies is an area that has undergone rapid change. The way information is accessed, received and processed is constantly changing and will also differ from one child to the next. Providing a curriculum that encompasses this change as well as individual differences in ability and learning styles is crucial when it comes to progress and achievement.

Expressing confidence and self-worth and also being able to develop relationships that are healthy and positive is important. The ability to do so can be achieved when students are exposed to perspectives that differ to their own, a variety of country studies, and how things have changed since the past. A difference and diversity capability will cover areas such as this and will help to increase positivity and aims to inform.

The changing role of the teacher brings with it much responsibility and high achievement and reporting expectations. Starting with what the student knows already, understanding how they learn and using this to plan learning will help to meet these expectations. To thrive and achieve success, understanding the needs of the child has become pivotal.

Teacher training will need to take a priority in schools in order for any changes to be made. The school culture should embrace and reflect change so that curriculum changes are understood and are able to be implemented. Teachers will require opportunities for colleague discussion on curriculum aspects with the opportunity to trial best practice in the classroom.

Being able to cope with future demands from society through the development of well-rounded citizens is one of the main aims in education for the 21st Century. It will be about more than just Literacy and Numeracy. Building a certain level of knowledge and understanding, introducing essential capabilities, and expanding skills will be a key component of any change.

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