Articulate a 21C teaching and learning perspective

July 15, 2011 § 1 Comment



A few weeks back I attended a great session with

Ewan McIntosh about learning spaces. It was a good

chance to consider the ways that students communicate,

interact and learn. Then, of course, it was interesting

to realise that most of these means aren’t used for

learning in schools.

I thought it could be helpful, for my own thinking,

to reflect on some 21C teaching and learning strategies

that have helped to form my teaching and learning

perspective for  different learning spaces. (And in light

of the session with Ewan, consider how these new

learning spaces could be used).


“We are on the cusp of change, moving from

teacher-centred to learner-centred models, from

face-to-face to digital, from synchronous to

asynchronous, from solo to group learning,

coloured and improved by technology.”

 Alexi Marmot, AMA Alexi Marmot Associates


I believe the biggest change that is required from

teachers today is that of moving from teacher-centred

to learning-centred models. Chalk and talk was the

experience that most current teachers experienced

at school and therefore it becomes

our native language in the classroom. While this may

be a comfortable zone for the teacher, this is hardly

a method that will help to engage students given their

variety of learning styles. The idea that teachers

‘control’ the classroom as opposed to guiding and

encouraging learning is another area

of transition that is important for student learning.


‘A learning space should be able to motivate learners

 and promote learning as an activity, support 

collaborative as well as formal practice, provide

 a personalised and inclusive environment, and be

flexible in the face of changing need.’

Designing Spaces for Effective Learning

A guide to 21st century learning space design


The layout of rooms and spaces for learning can have

a major impact on how students approach learning and interaction.

I have been challenged to think about the best ways that

Room design can assist student learning. Sometimes

this will be in a large group, other times in a small group,

and then other times working

individually. I’ve noticed that when there is flexibility with

the design of a room it is easier to look after the learning

needs of students.


The other areas that I see as being vital ingredients of

21C learning include:

personalised learning, project based learning and technology

that aids learning.  This document has helped me to see

how I need to keep on developing my understanding of

21C learning so that students not only meet the curriculum

outcomes for school, but more importantly develop life

long learning skills.



§ One Response to Articulate a 21C teaching and learning perspective

  • Hi Mark
    I absolutely loved this post. What you have written about are issues that are dear to my heart.
    I’m a teacher currently completing postgrad study in these areas and have just spent two days at the I Love Teaching Conference in Invercargill, New Zealand where speakers including James Nottingham, Francoys Gagne and Jeni Wilson and Graham Watts. all delivered messages exactly in line with your post.
    My frustration is that this thinking is not new – those of us passionate about teaching and learning in the 21st Century know what needs to happen in the classroom for our students – and for ourselves! We just need to find ways to convince the teachers out there who don’t believe that they can make a change to government policy – and the various governments themselves – that we know this is the right way to move forward. (Unless we want to completely turn our students off learning).
    Look forward to reading more posts.

    Justine 🙂

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