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21st Century Learning

To enable pupils to flourish in the 21st century, general consensus among many educational researchers all around the world has indicated that the youth will need a different skillset to succeed. These skills are well-defined by many projects and educationalists, and are effectively the ability to use knowledge to solve problems, to work collectively, to think creatively and to reflect on their own thinking.

In other words, the concept 21st century learning and teaching refers to a whole new approach to learning and teaching that prepares young minds for life in the 21st century.

Despite the technology in classrooms, children do not learn by themselves and thus deep, meaningful learning remains a core requirement. Teachers in South Africa and all over the world need to be smarter than ever before. They need to understand how learning takes place and how we can improve students’ ability, and desire, to keep on learning.

21st Century learning means:

  • keeping subject content current, by means of constant review;
  • encouraging learning dispositions and techniques – such as motivation and attention, problem-solving and critical thinking – that help learners to excel in all subjects;
  • using up-to-date technology to enhance both the process and outcomes of learning;
  • treating learners as individuals with respect for their diverse abilities, passions and learning styles;
  • classrooms are places of lively discussion and debate;
  • fostering social and interpersonal skills through collaborative learning activities;
  • valuing the role of creativity and the arts in learning;
  • creating an environment that both stimulates and rewards curiosity, imagination, initiative and effort, and
  • improving assessment, so that skills and attitudes are recognised.