Trends and Issues in Education

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Introduction

The dramatic technological revolution ushered the new millennium. Global society is now in the midst of diverse, complex, media-saturated environment. We are faced with immerging issues like global warming, poverty, health issues, population explosion and many more. However emerging technologies and globalization provide possibilities for new developments like non-conventional sources of energy, advanced in medical care, communications, and care exploration in space and into the depths of the ocean as well as restoration of our damaged environment.

To address the dawning of the millennium, what should the 21st century education be? According to Bilbao (2012), education should be “bold that breaks away from the mold”. It will be flexible, creative, challenging and complex. It should address a rapidly changing world, filled with new problems but with new possibilities.

How then should the curriculum for the 21st century look like? What are the elements of the 21st century curriculum?
These are difficult questions to answer, however, these special topic will attempt to approximate a landscape that would most likely describe the curriculum in the current century. The scenario is based on the global education trends as influenced by the current and future worldwide needs developments.

The 21st century curriculum shall prepare every learner for individual success in order to contribute to a vibrant society and a robust economy of the world. It will be a curriculum that will inspire and challenge lifelong learners to prepare for now and the future.

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Dequilla,MAC & Bilbao,P. LETing Through SOF.net: Technology Mediated Review for Prospective Philippine Teachers. 2012 (paper presented in the International Research Conference for Globalization and Sustainability)

Thus, the 21st century curriculum would depend on an integrative approach - one that unites core academic subjects, interdisciplinary themes, essential skills in which modern pedagogies, technologies, resources and contents work together to prepare students for modern life.

Body

They say that the 21st century curricula should be inspiring and challenging for both the teachers and learners. It should provide appropriate knowledge, skills, understanding and capabilities to face the future with confidence. It should be based on strong evidence drawn from research and should be a product of highly consultative, collaborative development process.

The curriculum for this century should create a context which will take the content relevant to the learner’s lives, bring the world to the classroom, as well as take the learners into the world. The situation from where the learning takes place should provide opportunities for teachers and learners, or learners and learners to interact with each other. Furthermore, such curriculum should develop and enhanced skills that are needed in the 21st century to include higher order thinking skills, multiple intelligences, technology and multi-media, multiple literacy and authentic assessments. It should also include service learning as an important component. A curriculum for the 21st century learners should nurture each learner to his/her full potential, discover talents and to develop a passion for life-long learning. It should be a curriculum which is strong in the core areas of literacy, numeracy and scientific literacy as these core areas provide the foundation of future learning. There shall be reinforced humanities to develop learners’ ability to understand and appreciate different perspective, as well as nurture cultural sensitiveness and civic awareness.

A curriculum must go beyond content knowledge with strong emphasis on the 21st century skills. In this situation, perhaps learners will have fewer pages from printed materials to read or topics to be covered, but they will be learning even more. Curriculum is not textbook-driven or...
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