Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1457 Words
Date:  2022-07-07


This should be understood as the process whereby there is massive use of technology in education learning and teaching activities by the digital natives. This enables them to learn anytime, anywhere and they can be able to learn anything at the same time. It is admitted that in the 21st Century learning, classrooms are not a primary concern as they are no longer a necessity for learning to take place (Darling-Hammond, 2006). Classes are nowadays not defined by compact and rigid walls as this new learning and teaching the system in the 21st Century blend the virtual and the physical structures into a very collaborative and engaging educational experience. It is true that for effective teaching in the 21st Century, it must focus on the student, must involve massive use of technology in the learning process for it to be relevant and rigor. It must equally emphasize highly on order thinking skills. A learner in the 21st Century tends to appear like someone engaged in educational gaming as well as an environment described as a multi-user environment, listening to various lectures in different platforms like watching videos in YouTube, collaborating in the social media, communicating and connected to the global village through wireless network system of laptops among others. These learners are large consumers of information on demand at the very thought speed. The purpose of this essay, therefore, is to establish the effects of globalization and social change on learning and teaching and to know how it differs with the 20th Century education (Darling-Hammond, 2006)

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Differences Between 20th and 21st Century Teaching and Learning

In looking at the differences between 20th and 21st Century teaching and learning, it should be noted that in the former century, lessons focused only on the lower level of the classification which merely focused on comprehension, knowledge as well as the application of what is learnt. In the latter case, learning has been designed on upper levels of the synthesis which majorly dwell in the analysis and evaluation that encompasses lower levels as well as it is intended from down to the top. At the same time, while this learning and teaching process is taking place, in the 20th century, most of the time learners work in isolation in the physical classroom within walls while in the 21st century, there is a collaborative learning process where learners collaborate with classmates and other peers around the world (Shor, 2012). This has become to be known as the global classroom.

On the other hand, another difference between these two centuries is that in the 20th century, it was more of teacher-centered where the teacher is the overall guide and the center of attention of the whole classroom and the giver of all the information regarding the learning and teaching process of the learners. However, in the 21st century, the teaching and learning process tends to be centered towards the student, and the teacher is only acting as a facilitator coach to the learners. In the 20th century too, there is insufficient student freedom as compared to learning in the 21st century where learners have a more significant deal of freedom of choosing what to learn and at what time. Undeniably, another core difference between these two centuries is that in the 20th century, literacy skills involves explicitly testing on reading, math and writing while in the 21st century, there are several literacies tested which are designed to working and living in a more globalized millennium.

Additionally, the 20th-century curriculum seems entirely meaningless and irrelevant to the needs of the students while that of the 21st century seems connected to the interest of the students, their experiences, talents as well as the real world. It should also be noted that in the 20th century, print media is exclusively regarded as the primary vehicle of learning and assessment as opposed to the 21st century where projects, performances and other forms of media are used to enhance learning and evaluation of the learners.

Lastly, in the 20th century, there are cases of discipline problems that have been reported as educators do not trust their students and the students to do not believe their teachers. Basically, in this century, there are no elements of student motivation. In the 21st century, there are even no discipline problems as teachers and students have a mutual relationship just like co-learners. This makes students highly motivated.

Some of the critical factors that are changing education in the 21st century include:

  • Technological changes

This is one of the most significant factors that have led to changes in the education system in this century. The rapid technological advancement has had far-reaching impacts on the 21st-century environment and society and especially on communication (Garcia, 2011). It has led to massive developments on how people communicate with one another and share information in the current society. These effects have been reflected in the education system where there have been observed an increase in the adoption of modern technology. The digital technology has become an essential factor in the classroom environment that has promoted the teacher-learner interaction as concerns learning and teaching in the 21st century. In addition to the above, teachers have also adopted this technology in the learning process to help them enhance their teaching techniques by coming up with different ways on how students process, receive and send their academic information (Chinnammai, 2005)

  • Globalization of education

This is another factor that has changed education in the 21st century. The impact of this factor in education is attributed to the fact that it has been viewed as a fundamental force in promoting economic prosperity in almost the whole world. Globalization has therefore encouraged education by creating an environment that enables learners to develop appropriate skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Socially, globalization is the process that involves an escalation of global social relations that tend to connect far areas in such a way that events occurring in the far distance, therefore, influences local events and the vice versa is true (Chinnammai, 2005). Some of how globalization affects education includes the following;

One of the significant effects of globalization is the internalization of education which involves the process of integrating an intercultural dimension into the research, teaching as well as exercise function of the institution. One reason for the internationalization of education is to help a country's foreign policy (Wright, 2016). In this case, the quality of learning and teaching could then be improved. This is just because it will encourage acceptance of different cultures by putting it into a single learning and teaching process.

It should be noted that one of the significant challenges of globalisation of education is the fact that with the massive amount of information available globally for the students on the internet, it makes reliability very questionable. It is therefore essential for students and other learners to distinguish between unreliable and reliable information at the global stage. This can delay the learning process as it wastes a lot of time searching. Another challenge is that the information available globally on the internet cannot be accessed by some people in some regions hence it is imbalanced.

It is worth noting that social change is defined as the change of mechanisms within the social set up, which is characterized by alterations in the cultural symbols of the people, rules, or even the value system. Education involves learning and teaching various skills (Shor, 2012). Education is one of the most critical objectives of imparting culture from generation to generation. Culture is, however, an organic whole. The cultural aspects are passed on to the agents like school, family, and even other association. It is true that societies maintain themselves through their cultures. It is true that culture and other forms of social change play a significant role in the curriculum development as well as other extra-curricular activities. Through various activities, social change impacts education level positively (Shor, 2012). A significant challenge of social change on education is the fact that it is quite difficult to integrate different cultures into a single system of education thereby making it difficult for the authorities to come up with a reliable curriculum.

It is therefore important to conclude that teaching and learning in the 21st century have significantly changed the education system as compared to that of the 20th century. This is reflected in the emerging factors that have been stated like globalization and technology that has made education to look like a global affair.


Chinnammai, S. (2005). Effects of globalization on education and culture. New Delhi.

Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Constructing 21st-century teacher education. Journal of teacher education, 57(3), 300-314.

Garcia, O. (2011). Bilingual education in the 21st century: A global perspective. John Wiley & Sons.

Shor, I. (2012). Empowering education: Critical teaching for social change. University of Chicago Press.

Wright, S. (2016). Language policy and language planning: From nationalism to globalisation. Springer.

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Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century Essay. (2022, Jul 07). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/teaching-and-learning-in-the-21st-century-essay

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