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Teaching in 21st century


Our younger generation is digitally groomed and equipped with loads of information gathered through internet and social media. They have justifiable reasons to brand themselves as digital natives. They are no longer ready to behave as dumb listeners in their classrooms nor do want their teachers only to deliver lectures. Instead, they want to be heard as equal partners in their learning journey and look for an interactive teaching experience. Therefore, the school mangers, teachers and parents have an uphill task to teach and train this Google generation we may call it. A total paradigm shift is required to create an enabling academic environment for a productive learning experience. It is an admitted fact that there is a fundamental difference between the two educational paradigms of 20th and 21st century. Classroom learning in developed countries makes only a part of the learning journey whereas more than fifty percent education comes from students’ hands-on experience in community development projects and research assignments. Besides, the ever rising expectations of school managers and parents are already driving students crazy to score outstanding grades. Therefore, time has already come to make our education more interactive, students-centered and flexible as against teacher-led discourse meant to ignite a mad-rat race for grades alone. Defining and delivering 21st century learning is messier than what we generally understand. It’s far more complexed and complicated. It is by all means a whole lot harder to assess and execute. The happier part of the story is that when done correctly, it creates environments in which engaged students are actively shaping their learning. Thus, the role of educators in the 21st century should be aimed at inspiring creativity, encouraging collaboration, expecting and rewarding critical thinking, and teaching children how to communicate with confidence and clarity. These are skills students need to develop in order to thrive in the dynamic workplaces of today and tomorrow. A 21st century education needs to be more than any one or two of these things.  If we want to provide every student with a 21st century education, we must foster deeper learning through the purposeful integration of rigorous academic content with experiences that intentionally cultivate the skills, mindsets, and literacies needed for students to become lifelong learners and contributors in our ever-changing world. Keeping the above in view, the term “21st century” has become an integral part of educational thinking and planning for the future. Nowadays, we don’t live in the same world. Globalization has opened up the world and allowed people to connect in new and exciting ways. We blend traditions and create unique belief systems that are not taught in any classroom, but are developed through our shared experiences and passions. We transmit our values and cultures without the expectation of them being adopted by our audience, rather just accepted by them. As always, at its core, the role of education is to prepare students to become active, successful, and contributing members of an interdependent global society. In order to prepare students to play their role in the 21st-century society we are a part of, following few things need to be definitely considered when deciding how education will look in our schools and classrooms. The days of one-way lecturing have long been over – though not entirely. While student-centered learning is strongly encouraged in the 21st century, this does not mean that the teacher can never give a lecture again. Instead, it means that the main source of knowledge in the classroom should not be the teacher. Education is no longer about listening to the teacher talk and absorbing the information as parrots. In order to contribute to society, students will need to be able to acquire new information to cope with problems as they arise. Thus, they will need to connect the new information with the knowledge they already have and apply it to solving the problem at hand.