How can 21st century students be expected to function in a 21st century world, with a 20th century education? It may be easy for some students, but for the majority of the student population, the present style of teaching is no longer relevant to their needs. This being said, most students have a new way of looking at the world, as the world itself now looks different than it did when those teaching methods were created. Education should be restructured to reflect the 21st century learners, to enhance the intellectual capital of Canada through adapting teaching styles to the modern mindset , logical incorporation of technology, and increased variety of courses to reflect today’s job markets. Students of the 21st century are accustomed to fast paced information intake through technology and media, creating a distance between the student and the teachings. This distance grouped with the lack of variety in course selection leaves the majority of students unprepared for the real world. Adapting Teaching Styles to the 21st Century Mindset:
New technology and media have an outrageous effect on the students of the 21st century. This draws their interests and focus away from the standardized education system to a more modern approach of communicating (Niess, Margaret). Students are more accustomed to the style in which media portrays information to them, which are not often represented in a classroom setting. Strategies used by teachers in this day and age should be reconstructed to adapt to the 21st century learners through mimicking the media, and portraying information the way media does (Bitner, Noel). Incorporating media and relating lessons and ideas to relevant points in a student’s life is an effective communication method. Nowadays, students have a short attention span, and have a lot of different learning styles. Majority of students are visually focused, meaning their learning is driven by pictures, diagrams, timelines, and movies (Stanford, Pokey).
Whereas verbal or musically-rhythmic learners are motivated by written or spoken explanation, and performed through sounds (Yan, Jeffrey). Although many learn through eyes and ears, some learn using touch to solve problems and understand the workings of various ideas. Teachers should have a variety of teaching styles reflecting the needs of the students (Bitner, Noel). Once teachers have the student’s attention, which in fact could be grabbed by technology or media, colour and action, they will be able to focus on the curriculum and absorb the knowledge more easily and effectively. Improved Access to Technology:
With smartphones and laptops now in classrooms, the opportunity for students to be distracted from their “same old same old” lessons and focus on 21st century media is all too easy. Whereas if these technological devices were being used on a daily basis, students wouldn’t feel the need to use them for non-classroom activities, during classroom hours. Along these lines, students are in constant use of social networking such as Facebook and Twitter, so incorporating these tools into classroom communication ensures that students will be up-to-date. It creates easy access to information since students will be using those individual portals anyway. Social networking will also allow students to express themselves in a familiar way. Furthermore, ensuring the technology and software being incorporated into these classrooms is up-to-date is crucial. Old software limits the engagement of students’ learning capabilities as well as limits the understanding of the modern technology. It is essential for students to have the proper equipment and resources in order to develop and increase their intellectual capital. Increased Variety of Course Selection:
The standardized and mandatory classes provided in today’s school system cover only the most basic knowledge required for careers in today’s job market. These standardized classes are preparation for standardized jobs, such as doctors, lawyers, and scientists, but 21st century jobs such as IT and computer programming are not represented in an accessible way to the majority of student in Ontario (Darling-Hammond, Linda). There are many new careers being invented to keep up with the technologies being innovated, so the education system and life preparation being provided to the students who will be doing those jobs, should be advancing and updated as well. In the 21st century, less students strive to achieve roles that follow a university career and instead chose careers that do not require university education.
Therefore, those individuals require a different kind of class and preparation which prepares them for the new life style they are beginning. These classes could be more along the lines of workplace mathematics, which teaches life skills not represented in other courses; moreover, introducing courses that prepare one for their everyday life would be useful as well (Bulmer, Michael). The 21st century job seeker has a more diverse selection that needs to be presented through education. With the technology going forward, the educational expectations are increasing as well, leaving students at a greater competition level amongst one another, bringing the intellectual capital to a greater level as well. Conclusion:
21st century students need a 21st century education system. This can be achieved through adjusting the teaching styles into a contemporary manner, reasonable integration of technology into everyday life, and an augmented assortment of programs readily available to students in Ontario. Modern technology and media, accompanied by old teaching styles, forms gaps between the education provided and the students receiving it. In order to further develop the intellectual capacity of its province and country, it is essential for Ontario’s education system to conduct education in a 21st century manner.
Outline for Argumentative Essay
General Topic: “The education system in Ontario (secondary or post-secondary)should be restructured to reflect the needs of the 21st century learner, in order to enhance the intellectual capital of our province and country.” Introduction
Background Information: How can 21st century students be expected to function in a 21st century world, with a 20th century education? It may be easy for some students, but for the majority of the student population, the present style of teaching is no longer relevant to their needs. This being said, most students have a new way of looking at the world, as the world itself now looks different than it did when those teaching methods were created. Thesis: Education should be restructured to reflect the 21st century learners to enhance the intellectual capital of Canada through adapting teaching styles to the modern mindset , logical incorporation of technology, as well as increased variety of courses to reflect the today’s job markets. Body
1. ADAPTING TEACHING STYLES TO THE 21ST CENTURY MINDSET
– teachers should have a variety of teaching styles reflecting the variety of learning styles (ie. visual learners, auditory learners, hands-on learners) – [incorporating media] relating lessons and ideas to relevant points in a students’ life (ie. Media and everyday things) – [mimicking media] teaching the lessons similar to the styles media uses to portray their points to the students (students understand tv shows but not the class, if the class was more like the tv show they would understand everything much better) 2. IMPROVED ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY
– up to date software – keep up with the rest of the world’s technology – technology in the classrooms
– social networking for access to classroom material outside class hours (twitter. Facebook groups for classes) utilize it as a tool 3. INCREASED VARIETY OF COURSES TO REFLECT THE EVER-EXPANDING JOB MARKET – wide range of jobs that are not represented by any courses (point is introduce classes that will represent certain job markets ie. sanitary engineers – janitors and garbage men, they have to have a high school diploma but there is no class to be good to the planet) – focus on the less successful careers
– variety on jobs based on pay bracket
– more life preparation classes not career classes (ex. Workplace math – class that teaches you to tell time and make change.. real life skills that are not represented in other subjects. No real life application science courses CONCLUSION: In order to further develop the intellectual capacity of its province and country, it is essential for Ontario’s education system to conduct education in a 21st century manner.
Bitner, Noel. (n.d.). Ed/ITLib Digital Library: Integrating Technology into the Classroom: Eight Keys to Success. Ed/ITLib Digital Library: Home.
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