Essay Plan

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Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century

(University Affiliation)


Notably, education is experiencing a series of changes due to the effects of globalization. Accordingly, the effect of globalization on education both in Australia as well as globally has brought rapid developments in the technology and communication aspects used within the learning system. The 21st century, which is characterized by advancement in information, technology and communication, has changed the way ideas as well as knowledge is passed on to the learner. Besides, the role of the students and teachers have changed thus shifting the whole teaching and learning process from the traditional methods to new methods of teaching as well as learning. Globalization can closely be related to the shifting of the society from industrialization towards an information-based society. Evidently, the new cultural imperialism is shaping students into ‘global citizens’ as well as intelligent individuals who have a wide of skill and knowledge to apply to the ever competitive, information based society. As such, this essay plan will highlight how education is changing in the 21st century. The essay plan will give a guideline on how the actual essay will be presented thus delineate important concepts.

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The introduction of technology into the classroom is evidently the changing the manner in which knowledge is being delivered to students.

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The teaching and learning aspect in the 21st century focus much on communication as a core competency that involves a two-way process.

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Opposed to the traditional pedagogy, where learners were perceived as passive absorbers of information, the new learning activities in the 21st century focus much on critical thinking and creativity.

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Social Change is impacting the education system in the 21st century

For instance, in Australia the teachers have come up with interesting and exciting methods of teaching such the use of PowerPoint technology to conduct presentations. Moreover, the teacher encourages students to use personal devices as well as internet sources to make the learning activities more interesting thus supporting innovations as well as capacity building.

Source: Beetham and Sharpe (2013). Siemens, (2014).

For instance, with the significant amount information in the internet as well as digital libraries, students in Australia are given the opportunity to research about a topic and present the same in class. Equally, students are encouraged to discuss in class sessions as opposed to the traditional methods of teaching whereby the students get all the information or instruction from the teacher.

Source: Arends, (2014). Lauder, Brown, Dillabough and Halsey, (2006)

For example, students are often given real challenges and encouraged to research as well as form discussion groups hence coming up with solutions. The solutions are subsequently recorded as part of the course hence counting in the final grading.

Source: Ananiadou and Claro (2009), Bordonaro and Richardson, (2014).

For instance, the rise of social equality movements are focusing on women empowerment in Australia as well as globally thus setting leadership positions for women in various sectors of the economy.

Source: Shor, (2012), O’Grady (2014).


Unlike in the traditional teaching methods, whereby the teacher strictly used the blackboard and textbooks to pass knowledge to the students, the 21st century methods of education incorporate the use of visual literacy.

-the graphic use interface associated with the internet as well as the convergence of video, data and voice into a common digital format has significantly increased the use of visual imagery rapidly in the education sector.


Unlike in the traditional setting, the primary role a teacher was to transmit knowledge to the student, the teachers in the 21st century act as facilitators and not sole carrier of information. Today’s teacher puts the learners at the center and on at the receiving end. In other words the teacher of the 21st century incorporates the learner’s decisions towards achieving agreed-upon goals. Moreover, today’s teacher creates a learning environment that encourages group discussions and logical criticisms.

The world today needs confident individuals who can relate well with others in order to work well in diverse teams.


Over several decades ago, learning was teacher-centered in that the students were not given the opportunity to explore their capabilities. Moreover, in traditional teaching practices, the students were simply the decoders of information thus were not critical thinkers. However, with the globalization in the 21st century, the learning activities have dramatically changed in that the new curriculums equip them with critical thinking as well as problem solving skills. In other words, students are encouraged to reason effectively, analyze and evaluate alternative views as well as ask pointed questions.

The availability of advanced technologies associated with accessing, manipulating, creating storing, managing as well communicating information give critical thinking skills a twist in the 21st century.

Teachers come up with lessons as well as units that connect the most significant concepts and skills, which students need to know and do as well. The teaching in the 21st century discourages the incorporation of unconnected facts and teaching disparate that could in one way or another inhibit the development of problem solving as well as critical thinking as well as other essential skills needed to counter the current real-life problems.

Today’s education lays much emphasis on the culture of innovation, which is informed, data and research as well as critical thinking.


Unlike in the traditional paradigm, where the girl child education was not taken seriously, today’s education system recognizes the girl child and as such empowers the female gender to pursue science and mathematical subjects. The role of female gender has changed and as such perception of girl child with regard to education has also changed.

The both the boy and the girl child are given equal educational opportunities. Unlike in the traditional educational setting whereby male teachers dominated the science and mathematics field, today’s learning environment is full of female teachers teaching science subjects.

Thus, with this kind of technology being incorporated in the pedagogy sector, students are in a position to address the challenges that have come with the 21st century.

With the incorporation of the students in the learning process as well as allowing students to contribute with regards to what they have researched, the student-centered learning takes place. Consequently, the aspect of communication is attained hence giving student’s confidence as well as a sense of identity which is significant in dealing with the today’s real life challenges.

The aim of cultivating this concept is to enable students to mature into global citizens who can come up with new ideas instead of waiting for specified experts to come up with solutions to the 21st century problems. Learners are shaped to be producers of solutions not consumers of solutions. It also sharpens the aspect of independence.

The social change has indeed changed the education sector as women are taking on men perceived roles.


The essay plan has comprehensively given an overview of how education is changing in the 21st century. It has begun by defining the 21st century learning as well as teaching whereby the traditional methods were weighed against the new learning methodologies hence giving the distinct differences. Ultimately, the essay plan also delineated the factors driving educational change.


Ananiadou, K., & Claro, M. (2009). 21st century skills and competences for new millennium learners in OECD countries.

Arends, R. (2014). Learning to teach. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Beetham, H., & Sharpe, R. (2013). Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing for 21st century learning. routledge.

Bordonaro, K. & Richardson, G. (2014). Scaffolding and reflection in course integrated library instruction. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 30(5), 391401.

Lauder, H., Brown, P., Dillabough, J. A., & Halsey, A. H. (2006). Education, globalization, and social change.

O’Grady, C. R. (Ed.). (2014). Integrating service learning and multicultural education in colleges and universities. Routledge.

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

Siemens, G. (2014). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.