The 21st. Century TeacherJose Tena Villada
The 21st century is bringing about changes in all aspects of human activities. These changes, inevitably, create challenges, which teachers need to face. Once and for all, society must move away from memorization of facts which are useless for effective living. Literacies, such as collaboration, communication, adaptation as well as the ability to access, analyze and use information must be developed, so learners can participate effectively in today’s knowledge economy.
Leaners in the 21st century need to be able to communicate, function and create change personally, socially, and economically at the local, national and the international level. In orde to develop these skills, they can be made to participate in real-life learning projects, which ensure the development of the competencies required for today’s world. Hence, teachers themselves have to be trained to the current literacies and skills, which the learners require.
Shaw (2014) identified three compasses to be followed to develop education that can be categorized as 21st century. The first direction is that the educational programmes must have the critical attributes of being:
– Integrated and interdisciplinary
– Student-centred instruction
– Project based and Research-driven
– Relevant, Rigorous and Real world
– Technologies and Multimedia
– Global classrooms and Globalization
– Adapting to and creating constant personal and social change and lifelong learning.
The second emphasis or direction should be in developing multiple literacies for the 21st century. This Shaw (2014) continues should include:
– The Arts and Creativity
– Financial literacy
– Media literacy
– Social/Emotional literacy
– Physical Fitness and Health literacy
-Global competencies and Multicultural literacy.
All of which describes the various capabilities and competencies needed for successful living in this century. The third focus she points out should be based on the seven 21st century survival skills identified by Wagner (2011). The seven survival skills are:
– 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