Friday, August 6, 2010

The 21st Century learner

Picture descriptions:
Images: 21st Century students - are they any different?

Related sites to the Spatialworlds project
Spatialworlds website
21st Century Geography Google Group
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia website
Email contact

Where am I??
Port Lincoln, South Australia: S: 34º 42' E: 135º 52'

This posting explores the issue of where students as learners have changed. Is there such a thing as a 21st Century learner? The research indicates that there is! If we are on about developing a 21st Century curriculum then we must take into account that the learner has changed and think about how the currciulum may be different to accomodate these changes.

These changes may be categorised under the headings of what they require and expect and what they are interested in.

*They require and expect:• not to have to learn “by rote” knowledge. They recognize that knowledge is important but not to be expected to learn chunks of deep knowledge
• respect from their teachers. They consider respect needs to be ‘earnt’ by their teachers
• to learn the skills of knowledge acquisition, analysis and synthesis
• to develop a taste of the ethos and frameworks of disciplines.
• relevance of learning to their life. They ask how the curriculum delivered will prepare them for the real world whilst they are at school and when they leave. They expect real world competencies through their learning
• the freedom to personalise/customise their learning/tasks to meet their personal needs
• their learning to be flexible, self reliant and autonomous
• new technologies to be available to support their learning and collaborative work
• to work collaboratively in the real and virtual space
• be able to meet achievement standards if they work as required
• the opportunity to study in depth a topic/issue they find of interest
• connectivity with their life and their learning experiences.

* They are interested in:
• issues of social justice
• real stories
• connecting with others in the real and virtual space
• using current technology to learn – in particular to enhance connectivity
• being active citizens and make a difference
• embracing cross-cultural competencies – sensitivity to other cultures
• greenness and sustainability through real ecologically responsible acts
• being global in outlook – citizens of the world
• customising their education to their needs – personal pathways
• being a resourceful learner, curious, enquiring, community relevant and learning
beyond the school day.

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