Friday, January 21, 2011

The 21st Century Pedagogy Teachers should be Aware of

Interpersonal learning , personalized learning, second life learning , 3d learning, collaborative learning and virtual learning , these are just some of the few buzz words you would be be reading  so often in today’s educational literature. Things have changed , old methods and pedagogies are no longer relevant. The teacher-controlled learning where pre-constructed information is presented in a  formal and standardized classroom settings becomes very obsolete. The urgent questions we should , as educators , ask ourselves are : what are  the driving factors behind this huge  transformation in learning ? and Do we need a new pedagogy to better enhance learning ?

21st century pedagogy

 Advancements in technology and particularly social networking technologies are changing the whole educational framework . Users now can have access to information whenever and wherever they want  . Blogs , wikis, socializing sites, podcasts, networks are more and more democratizing knowledge and radically changing the overall notion of  schooling.

It is evident now that we are in front of two different versions of learner one is labeleed the  the 20th century learning and the second is called the  21st century learning. These two learning paradigms are totally different in  terms of skills,  objectives, and methodologies of instruction employed in each one of them. Thus,  the need for a new educational model , a serious rethinking of the nature of schooling , its goals, pedagogies, curriculum , structures, and assumptions is pressingly urgent, and as I have already  mentioned in the popular " 21st century Teaching and Learning Skills Ebook " students today are digitally focused and require new skills that would meet up the needs of this new era. But the thing is  teaching new skills is not the only solution and  there is more to it than just that, in fact  we need a new pedagogy with specific features that  would cover every learning aspect .

To help you better understand the pillars of this pedagogy you need to watch this short video to see how different the 20th century teacher from the 21st century one.

20th century and 21st century teachers

In their ALCE international conference that was held in Sydney , participants insisted that ”in the 21st century pedagogy , the schooling experience must be relevant to the life each student chooses to pursue and the skills required to live in today’s world.”In other words, students must be taught how to become managers of their own lives, members of both local and global society, influential participants in the workforce and active contributors to a changing environment.

Here is another video to bring you even closer to this pedagogy. Watch it to learn more about the difference between the 20th century education and the 21st century education.

the difference between the 20th century education and the 21st century education.

This is exactly the kind of learning that the 21st century pedagogy develops . It is basically a life long learning which prepares for future , continuous engagement in solving real problems, dealing with real events and competently coping with the dynamics of real life

What are some of the 21st century pedagogy features and skills ?

The skills that are pivotal to achieve  the 21st century pedagogy goals are :
  • Critical thinking
  • Active learning
  • Problem solving skills
  • Communicating, making connections,creating and expressing oneself in a variety of ways
  • Contextualized knowledge. As you can see in the learning pyramid , uncontextualized and non-activity based learning could result in a low retention rate.

learning pyramid 
  • Collaborative team work. This is mainly achieved through web2.0 technologies and social networking tools . If you have read the UNESCO’S publication “ The four pillars of education “  you would realize that collaboration is the core element of the four pillars which are :
  1. Learning to know
  2. Learning to do
  3. Learning to live together
  4. Learning to be

four pillars of learning

21st century pedagogy develops some particular kinds of fluencies in students :
  1. Technology fluency : know how to use technological tools
  2. Information fluency : know how to gather, process and validate information
  3. Media fluency : know how to view , select , and use media.

To conclude , here is a diagram provided by Andrew Churches  that summarizes most of what we have talked about concerning the 21st century pedagogy features :

21st century learning diagram

The picture about the  21st century pedagogy is not yet clear ? Here is a great video to help you understand it better.

21st pedagogy


  1. Wow, what a great resource.

    This will help my students greatly. I will be getting them to teach others as a priority!

    Thank you!

    Jonathan Crabtree
    Australian Numerals

  2. Hi Jonathan thanks for leaving a comment on my blog , that nice of you , i am glad you liked my post i hope it will work with your students , good luck

  3. This article is extremely helpful to me as I am about to begin student teaching in the fall. One of the main issues I have confronted while observing high school classrooms is the students are extremely bored and unmotivated by the lecture style of teaching. Implementing differentiated instruction is key to peaking student knowledge and interest, and this article provides several methods to assist teachers in achieving a classroom setting that is modeled after our transforming society. This is a wonderful resource tool, thanks!

  4. Thank Josie for your comment , i am so glad you are going to try some methods mentioned here with your students . I am quite sure it is the best alternative to the lecture style method several teachers adop in their teaching , motivation and interest are important elemnts in teaching and successul teachers are those who know better how to arise them in their students . best of luck Josie

  5. Salve Med.
    Io sono un'insegnante della scuola Primaria. Sono italiana e membro de 'Technology Integration in Education'.
    E' qui che ho scoperto il tuo blog e l'ho visitato.
    Lo trovo molto utile per il mio lavoro e ricco di suggerimenti per la didattica.
    Per questo volevo ringraziarti e augurarti buon lavoro.
    Ciao, Nicoletta Farina.

  6. I am not sure if we need a new pedagogy or a "new" philosophy. If we believe our role as teachers is to help students understand the world around them and develop skills that will help them be successful life long learners, then it is easy to see how teaching students to use new technology to achieve this goal. The digital landscape is changing, but fostering collaborative knowledge building among students will be a best practice regardless of the latest technology (in my mind). I like to think that the recent advances in technology during the 21st century have acted as a catalyst to help us rediscover what education is all about.

  7. I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with everyone.

    LG Mobile Price List

  8. Given the news about American schools what percentage of k-12 teachers are using these ideas and can they meet the standerds set for each course?

    What can be done to bring those teachers who learned the lecture method 20-30 years ago along. Are they aware that their students do not have to be bored?

  9. This is bar far one of the best articles I have seen lately. As an Information Technology teacher I have been vocalizing similar concerns about technology fluency in students and this article will be very eye opening in fostering positive thinking towards what 21st Century pedagogy should be. Thanks!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.