21-century-learners“What should students learn in the 21st Century”? It is a debatable topic amongst the educators in today’s scenario. The world is moving on at a tremendous speed and has changed 360 degree in the last 20 years. Is our education system moving at the same pace? And the answer is ‘NO’.

The world is changing rapidly and education needs to change too.  The coming generations must be prepared for a world that is constant developing and changing.  We need to equip our next generation with the 21st century skill sets to enable them to adapt to an unpredictable job market.

How do we make it possible? Today’s teacher must focus more on the “4Cs”. Those four Cs are – collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. They must make a constant effort to take them away from rote learning. This can be achieved by creating meaningful experiences where children can get the necessary exposure, make connections to what they are exposed to, and utilize this information outside the classroom. It is true that every child learns differently, but children certainly learn more as they collaborate, communicate, critically think, and begin to create a purposeful interpretation of the world around them. Technology may be a perfect tool to facilitate in these 4C’s.

Apart from these “4Cs” I would like to add one more to the list, “Character” that includes behaviors, attitudes and values. Tomorrow when our learners are ready to face this challenging world, a good character builds the trust needed for success and helps them to perform their roles.

Today, in a world where change is constant where everything we do from working, to accessing information and to communicate, continues to evolve, it is time to re-examine both what teachers should know and be able to do.  Are they ready to create a 21st century classroom? It is true that whilst teachers are busy teaching, the professional development opportunities are often too general and non-subject specific. Unless we start to provide high quality, regular opportunities for teachers to develop their own skills, and some real time to do it in, we will not see education moving forward in the right direction for some time.

Veena Gaur
Dean, Shalom Presidency School