Kathleen E. Yandan, Teacher I – Cupang Elementary School
As time passes, the world inevitably steps on eras upon eras, thus, advancing at a pace not everyone can cope with. Together with the continuous and drastic advancement of the world, the learners evolve as well.
It is expected from students nowadays to be in haste on expanding their knowledge since the world is requiring them to. Learners have many things to consider today or else they’ll be left behind by their generation. For instance, 21st century learners are expected to be competent with the use of modern technology in order to maximize their learning potential. Unlike the generations before, students today are being told to get used to utilizing gadgets and if not, they’ll be stuck with the old system of learning. Moreover, standards today say that modern learners, especially the young ones, must be trained to think critically which is very different from before. The old system used to give specific directions for the students to follow accordingly, but today, young learners need to learn to do things in their own way.
On the other hand, since the world raises the standards for the 21st century learners, it is just natural to raise the standards for 21st century teachers as well.
Most of the recent psychology studies today focus more on the welfare of children’s mental health. One of the things that is mainly tackled is the multiple intelligence which basically states that children have different intelligences and fields of expertise. Therefore, they need different approaches when being taught. The old classroom practice wherein the teacher will discuss and the students will listen doesn’t work well anymore.
Teachers must be able to utilize the modern materials in order to cater the educational needs of the students such as: using videos, images and digital presentations. It is also essential to enable the students to have personal interaction with the materials being used to teach them; this is the concept of inquiry-based learning. This way, the students will be able to hone their critical thinking skills. In addition, they must be taught to collaborate and communicate well with their co-students which is also one of the competencies of being a 21st century learner.
The transition is said to be difficult but that’s how things work, the first step is always the hardest. As teachers, we are the ones who mold the current generation of students who will be the future generation of professionals and leaders. Therefore, if the world needs competent 21st century learners, then the learners need competent 21st century teachers. We have to be more creative and be prepared to step into a whole new teaching adventure especially that technology will be a crucial part of the new learning modalities today.
Let us help mold the generations to come to become competent citizens by being competent guides. The world is a rushing current, those who won’t be able to cope up will drown.