What do schools need to do to prepare students for the 21st century?

In 21st century, our children are facing an increasingly complicated world that is changing at a rapid speed especially technology. The speed at which our society is developing new technologies is astounding. Research shows that people who are born after 1982 have a different relationship with information and learning than do previous generations, due to internet access and other technologies.

            Rogers, Runyan, Starrett and Von Holzen, (2006).

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Their vast experience with technology has impacted how they interact with their environment and how they learn. As a result, young student just starting elementary school will learn differently than previous generations.

         Rogers et.al.,(2006)

The international Studies School Association (ISSA) advocates for our educational system to broaden its centricity and to address the need for a more global view of the world around us.

The first thing educators must do is change to a global mindset. Today’s student learn differently than previous generations and will benefit greatly from schools that embrace technology and recognize that it is changing the way students learn and how teachers teach(Rogers,2006).

Following skills are believed to be essential for successful 21st century students:

Creativity, Flexibility, Risk-taking, Empathy, Persistence, Problem-solving, Self –awareness, Lifelong enthusiasm for learning.

By no means it is recommended that the traditional core curriculum should be abandoned.

According to Small and Vorgan (2008), Authors of the book iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind.

Student’s interaction still is essential in the classroom. Through extensive use of technology, students could actually be communicating more but talking less. Electronic social networking cannot take the place of face-to –face communication and interpersonal skills.

The more comfortable teachers are with technology, the more they will use it and in corporate it in their classrooms. Use of technology is empowering for the students. Our teachers are no longer the sole content carriers but are now content facilitators. Implementing 21st century skills and concepts on a macro level, however, is still in its infancy. Parents also have an opportunity to support and partner with schools as well as being mindful of the 21st century learning trend within their homes. Technology provides an excellent venue for students but it should be used with appropriate safeguards. The onus is on the schools and parents to teach kids to use technology responsibly, effectively and positively. Teachers should instill curiosity; develop communication, team work skills and responsibility that come from taking charge of their own learning.

Schools are expected to develop young people who are information and media literate, critical thinkers and problem-solvers, communicators and team players. Schools are expected to educate young people to behave responsibly in relation to drugs, alcohol, cyber safety, road safety and their sexual health. A strong school- community engagement can bring a range of benefits. Teachers should prepare the students to lead and productive and successful life.

2 thoughts on “What do schools need to do to prepare students for the 21st century?
  1. Good point of view, thanks! As for me, schools need to bring up students in good behavior and manners it is very necessary! The next step is to behave responsibly in relation to drugs, alcohol, cyber safety, road safety and their sexual health.

    1. Louis, I agree with u! Moreover, I need to say that schools need to prepare students with excellent computer knowledge, it is very necessary in our century!

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