A long way to go: Learning in the 21st century

scottwebb, Pixabay.com, CC0 1.0
scottwebb, Pixabay.com, CC0 1.0

Various kinds of transformations are affecting important areas of our lives – our workplaces and career paths, family and society, the economy and government policies – and they are being accelerated and intensified by such forces as technology and globalization.

As human beings, we are responding to these transformations, but we also want to play a role in shaping them. Fortunately, we are flexible and fully capable of learning. We are born learners, and we continue to learn throughout our lives.

Speaking of learning: As the world has changed, have our chances of reaching our full potential increased? And in this still-new century, are we providing children with more favorable learning environments and educational opportunities?

When asked whether the conditions for learning have improved, many BOLD blog contributors – bloggers, interviewees, scientists, book authors, program managers – have answered: “No, not yet.” Among their responses:

People don’t fundamentally understand what it means to learn – and to teach.”

How can we be lifelong learners if learning happens only at school?

Many parents still believe that rote learning is the only path to academic success.

Teaching to the middle and failing to equip students with the tools they need to learn at the appropriate level can have profound negative consequences.

Many learners have unrecognized talents that are not nurtured and leveraged.

On our blog BOLD, we highlight areas where improvement is needed. But we also look ahead and report on research results and potential solutions, describe positive examples, bring up topical issues for discussion, and encourage debate among parents and policymakers, teachers and scientists, students and ed-tech developers.

With BOLD’s new series “Learning in the 21stCentury,” we want to expand our circle of bloggers. We want to give a voice to learners as well as to those who dedicate themselves to helping children and young people learn. Working together, we want to identify and encourage approaches that can have a positive impact on how children learn and pursue their educational careers, and on how all of us are learning in the 21stcentury.

We’re starting the new series today with a fictional story about what individualized learning and assessment might look like in the near future – enjoy!

“In the 21st century, what shapes the way children learn and how they pursue their educational careers? And how will all of us be learning throughout our lives?”

We welcome posts by new authors, responses to previous posts, and ongoing discussion. Please get in touch if you would like to submit a blog post or contribute in some other way!

 

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