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A look at 21st Century Education and how it affects students, teachers, and their curriculum.

21st Century Education

Characteristics of Effective Teachers.

Being an effective teacher in the 21st Century involves a lot more than it used to.  The following is just a few of the characteristics or ideas required:



  • Planning-lessons are prepared and organized
  • Focused-provides high-quality examples to grab students attention
  • Specific-learning objectives are clear to students
  • Motivated-believes students can learn and shares that bellief with students 
  • Alignment-instruction is aligned with learning activities, assessments, and objectives
  • High Expectations-sets and communicates learning goals to students
  • Assessment-frequently assess students to ensure learning objectives met
  • Determined-takes professional development classes; strives to be expert in content area
  • Enthusiastic-teachers are excited to teach the students

Characteristics of Effective Schools

A 21st Century school has many forms.  A student can be home-schooled, participate in a Virtual School, attend a Charter School, or attend traditional public school.  Regardless of the description, to be effective, they must involve some of the following qualities:


  • Shared Vision & Goals- teachers and parents are on same page
  • Optimal size- classrooms are sufficient to provide positive learning environment
  • Solid Leadership- administators support the teachers and vice versa
  • Strong Community- holistic approach to overall curriculum is achieved
  • Safe Environment- students must feel safe and comfortable
  • Clear Mission- objectives are communicated and consistent
  • Collective Efficacy- teachers belief that school can promote learning regardless of external factors
  • Interactive- teachers interact with students during lessons
  • Nurturing- seeks to develop the students both personally, and socially


Characteristics of Effective Curriculum & Instruction

Effective curriculum and instruction in the 21st Century education setting uses a more holistic approach to learning.  Here are some of the characteristics:


  • Standards- lessons are taught to specific standards set by the State
  • Problem Solving- students are taught to solve problems using real world examples
  • Extracuricular Activities- development outside the classroom is encouraged
  • Relavancy- lessons are relavant to the student's daily lives or environment
  • Accountability- teachers are held accountable for the students progress
  • Measurable- the results of the curriculum are measured against objectives
  • Achieveable- learning objectives are realistic
  • Student Centered- classrooms are centered around the students' needs
  • Dynamic- lesson plans adjust to build on students' knowledge




Characteristics of 21st Century Students & How Their Needs Can Be Met


21st Century students are very well rounded and require many tools to fully educate them.  Below are a few of their requirements and how they are met:


  • Tech Savy- schools use of a variety of electronic devices and software in learning
  • Critical Thinking- encourages students to think "outside the box"
  • Global Awareness- lesson plans include topics from around the world
  • Life Skills- emphasis on creating and developing learning skills
  • Career Skills-  hands on learning expericnces in vocational skills
  • Social Awareness- volunteering and service learning are encouraged for overall development
  • Able-bodied- teachers act as facilitators in class, working beside and providing support
  • Civility- civic literacy is taught to emphasize to how to function in society