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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 fragmented, instead it is thematic and integrated. Knowledge is not memorization of facts and figures but are constructed through investigation and inquiry, the result of which are connected to previous knowledge, personal experiences, interests, and talents. Assessment is authentic and requires real-world audiences. Twenty-first-century learning involves a great deal beyond the use of technology and digital media. Living in a digital world as we do, students certainly need to learn to use the tools that have become essential to life and work in the 21st century. However, the effective use of technology is only one element of 21st century learning. A 21st century education still requires that students master core academic subjects, but it has been proposed that the content be infused with certain defined themes and skills that are considered to be vital ingredients to success in the 21st century. The classrooms in the 21st century curriculum are integrated and interdisciplinary, student-centered, research-driven, relevant, accurate and real world. They are also adapting to and creating constant personal and social change and lifelong learning. To study and work in an environment of the 21st century, learners and teachers should embrace the necessary skills to address the need of the millennium. These include literacy, numeracy, information and communication technology competence, ethical behavior, personal and social competence and intercultural understanding. What about the future teachers who will be teaching the learners of the 21st century? What skills should they possess? Are we still using yesterday’s tools in the curriculum to teach students for tomorrow? The choice of instructional tools and strategies is best made on a local level, taking into account the resources, expertise and learning needs of that particular community of learners. However, consideration should be made that such tools and strategies can be accessed by anyone, in a global village. For a curriculum to stay, core values should be at its core. National curricula across the world deliberately embed core values for all learners in their respective country and as global learners. Basic education as expressed in the 2002 Philippine Revised Basic Education Curriculum included four core values that were stated as: Maka-Diyos (pro-God), Maka-tao (pro-man), Maka-bayan (pro-country) and Maka-kalikasan (pro-nature). In the current K to 12 curriculum, in Values Education, at the core are Respect and Truth, Love and Goodwill, Spiritually, Justice, Respect of Nature, Nationhood and Peace.

Conclusion

The curriculum of the 21st century guides teachers and learners on how to navigate their future. We have to reflect on our current educational practices that should respond to the need of the times, otherwise, we will be left behind. Future teachers, will be handling learners who are “digital natives” and digital learners, who are capable of multi tasking, who are insatiable in searching and generating knowledge, who look for evidence and deliver outcomes. The speed of the future is very fast. Education has become borderless. Events are seen in real time. Multiple problems rise, likewise multiple possibilities and solutions evolve. The ways of doing and assessing have changed. In the new millennium, knowledge is power. Schools must change its paradigm. Classroom should be designed differently. Tools and methods of teaching which have become irrelevant and ineffective should be replaced. Teachers have to update, enhance and develop in order to catch up with the 21st century skills.

References:

Corpuz, Brenda. et al. Special Topics in Education. 2013 Lorimar Publishing; pp. 54-62
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)
DepEd K to 12 Write Up on Basic Education Program, March 2012. National Center for
Education Statistics

Republic of the Philippines
POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
OPEN UNIVERSITY SYSTEM-SCHOOL OF DISTANCE EDUCATION
Sto. Tomas Campus, Sto. Tomas, Batangas

Trends and Issues in Education: Curriculum for the 21st Century
Teaching and Learning

EDU 640 Foundations of Education
(Second Semester)

By
Pablita L. Centeno

December 2012

Professor: Dr. Evangeline de Jesus

References: Corpuz, Brenda. et al. Special Topics in Education. 2013 Lorimar Publishing; pp. 54-62 Dequilla,MAC & Bilbao,P Prospective Philippine Teachers. 2012 (paper presented in the International Research Conference for Globalization and Sustainability)

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