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What it Takes to Promote 21st Century Learning

Dr. Sushma Malik

India’s education system is definitely heading towards a much-needed transformation. This transformation can be hastened only with a different framework of pedagogy where technology plays a vital role – one that includes cyber platforms and digital forums. The boons of the technological miracle, the internet, can be optimised and its banes moderated if schools and parents realise the new age needs and demands. Open seminars and tête-à-tête between all stakeholders will help.

Technology-driven learning develops effective approaches to teaching and learning and works seamlessly within different global contexts.

From the manner in which teachers are trained to the format of classroom sessions, from the style of teaching to the manner of testing knowledge, technology changes everything. Students are exposed to different cultural identities through technology. Additionally, there is a focus on developing inter-disciplinary understanding rather than looking at individual subjects in isolation. Education should aim to transform students and schools as they learn through dynamic cycles of inquiry, thought and reflection.

Incorporating SMART goals into the pedagogy is a sure-shot way to develop the necessary skills in 21st-century learners. It stands for:

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Realistic

T- Timebound

An extremely important part of modern education that is still missing in most addresses to educationists is ‘mindfulness’. We already have maths, language, science and environmental studies, but we need to expand this traditional curriculum with a new subject: mindfulness.

The objective is to improve mental health, by including relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and other methods, to help students keep a clear head in the era of information overload and prevent early onset stress disorders. The goal of the programme should be to study which approach works best for young children and introduce these activities at the primary level itself to ensure mental health, well-being and happiness.

A perfect school is one which should become the one-stop destination of new age learners seeking the best amalgamation of academics, sports extracurricular activities, life skills, soft skills, international programmes and the latest technologies. Teachers should be passionate mentors and create an environment where the facilitator feels happy transacting the content while students feel good absorbing the same.

Learning should never be a competition; this has to be understood by all the interested parties – parents, students, management and all those who matter in a child’s life. All schools and educationists should, therefore, strive to remain committed to empowering learners with skills and social competencies which enable them to make positive contributions to the world community as a whole.

Student’s needs should be accorded the top priority and traditional and modern educational values respected and encouraged to coexist. The school’s objective should be to provide a safe space along with an appropriate and challenging environment, empowering the students to be well-adjusted in an era of global lifelong learning and improvisation.

Dr. Sushma Malik
Dr. Sushma Malik

A notable academician with an experience of 25 years in teaching and administration, she has addressed several K–12 issues on various platforms.


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