Assessment 1 Reflective Essay

Topics: Education, Educational psychology, 21st century Pages: 11 (2153 words) Published: December 3, 2014
There are a number of key ideas and concepts that we’ve discussed and analysed during weeks 1-5. Concepts: What is 21st century learning and teaching?
What is personalised learning?
Equity, diversity and inclusivity
Curriculum that uses deep knowledge
Rethinking the roles of learners and teachers

21st Century learning can be ‘considered as an emerging cluster of new ideas, beliefs, knowledge, theories and practices - some of which may be visible in some schools and classrooms, some which exist only in isolated pockets and others which are barely visible yet.’ (Bolstad, Gilbert, McDowell, Bull, Boyd and Hipkins, 2012, p.7)

From discussions, 21st Century learning is an ongoing process. Continually changing, students use educational technologies to apply, adapt, communicate and interact with a global community. Students are responsible for their own learning. They question and reflect on their learning experience and collaborate with others in the learning process.

Time has changed the definition of what teaching is, plus its influence on past, present and future teaching techniques. Teaching and learning in the industrial age can be categorised as listening, watching, and remembering.

As a 21st century teacher our job is to extend the students listening, watching and memory skills. We must aid the students to think laterally. Networking possibilities have expanded with the emergence of new technologies. To be effective in the classroom, we must be a leader and role model and be able to adapt, communicate, collaborate and take risks. If students are not engaged, it’s up to us to adapt to the situation. As teachers, we can collaborate with each other, leveraging knowledge and experiences to keep up with changes in curriculum and technologies. This will assist in managing collaborative tools to enhance and captivate students. Teachers must be fluent in the use of tools and technologies such as ‘Interactive Whiteboards’ and ‘Mathletics’ to engage students.

Our activity in week 2 was to reflect on our own experience of a restrictive label and discuss how technologies of the future enable personalised learning. My label of “not being creative” didn’t bother me, but it was interesting to see just how much these “labels” affected my classmates. I agreed with Rebecca’s comment, “If we could then break down the barriers of stating that a child is smart only if they excel at certain subjects, and place an equal value on all talents, we would be able to eliminate the negative labelling that can do so much damage to a child’s life”

Children are unique and have their own strengths and weaknesses. We should encourage children’s natural abilities, talents and learning styles, focusing less on academic aptitude as the sole indicator of success and/or failure. Personalised learning is much more complex in the 21st century. The emphasis is on learning built around the learner, rather than the previous “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Senge’s (2012) statement, ‘Just as there is extraordinary variety in types of intelligence, so too is there extraordinary variety in how people learn.....Some children can learn only when they are moving their bodies. Others need quiet, while still others thrive on constant activity.’(p.44) reinforces the idea that people learn differently. I hope to create a learning environment and encourage attributes such as ‘Critical thinking, self-directed learning, communication and collaboration’ (Senge, p.38) so that each student can succeed and reach their full potential.

In week 3 to improve our understanding and to identify issues including equity, diversity and inclusivity, we watched the video Jane Elliot’s Brown eyes vs Blue eyes project (Heroic Imagination, 2011). Dr Phil Zimbardo commented “The most minimal cues and difference between people like eye colour, lip size or virtually anything can be the basis of discrimination when authority adds value to one or another….as long as...

References: Figure 7.1 Some definitions of curriculum (Images) Scanned from: Armitage, A., Evershed, J. & Hayes, D. (2012). Teaching and Training in Lifelong Learning (pp.195-230). Berkshire, England: Macgraw-Hill Education
Heroic Imagination TV (Producer)
Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre. (2011). Deep and surface approaches to learning. Retrieved from
Ho, A
Krause, K., Bochner, S., Duchesne, S. & McMaugh, A. (2010). Educational psychology for learning and teaching (pp. 326-363). South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.
O’Connor, O. (2011). The changing role of the teacher. Retrieved from
Pearson (Producer)
Senge, P., Cambron-McCabe, N., Lucas, T., Smith, B., Dutton, J. & Kleiner, A. (2012). Schools that Learn (pp. 32-69). Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
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