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    Teaching and learning processes in the 21st century

    Introduction

    In the 21st century, the teaching and learning processes, as well as the curriculum, have been changed a lot in comparison to the ancient days. The educational institutions in Australia always try to make innovation in the education system by implementing new technologies and learning partnership strategies for improving the quality of educational services. In this study, the impact of different technologies, partnership programmes on the modern education system in Australia have been discussed. Moreover, the study discusses the differences between the new curriculum and the old curriculum as per the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) guidelines for Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). The study can also help in analysing the significance of the changes in the new curriculum in the 21st century.

    Identification of the use of new technologies in the educational sector in the 21st century

    In the ancient days, educational institutions used to follow lecture method for teaching the students. The classroom environment was basically teacher-centred and the opportunities for using technologies in teaching and learning were less. However, the advancement of technologies has also influenced the educational sector. In the 21st century, educational institutions in Australia are providing importance to the implementation of different technologies and ICT tools in the education system (Drossel, Eickelmann, & Gerick, 2017).

    In the present scenario, two primary schools have received funds for the redevelopment and combination of the schools in new modern schools where the students can avail high-quality education services. It has been realised by the teachers in the 21st century that the use of modern technologies might facilitate the learning of the students. Therefore, the teachers want to get input from the staffs and the students regarding the use of technologies in the teaching processes.

    The technologies help the teachers in explaining the abstract ideas in a better way and as a result of it; the students can understand the study materials properly (Tour, 2015). According to Fullan & Langworthy (2014), the implementation of ICT resources like audio-visual aids, graphics, and online study materials makes the learning seasons more interesting for the students. Therefore, the new school can also implement these technologies for the betterment of their educational services.

    In the educational institutions of the 21st century, projectors and iPads are widely used for explaining the abstract study materials with the help of videos, images and graphics so that the students can visualise the abstract ideas in a better way (Tondeur et al. 2017). This makes the learning program more effective in the 21st century. On the other hand, previously, the educational institutions used to provide paper-based study materials and handwritten notes (Beetham & Sharpe, 2013). Therefore, there were high chances that the study materials can be damaged or lost. However, in the 21st century, most of the educational institutions upload online study materials in their e-learning sites so that students can easily access them with their IDs and passwords. In this process, the chances of damage to the study materials due to physical reasons are less. On the other hand, this also reduces the use of papers.

    On the other hand, the use of virtual reality in the education system is growing more popular in the 21st century and the new modern school in rural Victoria can also implement it. Though it is a costlier technology to implement in the educational institutions, in many schools the VR tools are being used for practical training purposes (Bolstad et al. 2014). The major benefit of virtual reality is that, in this approach, the students are presented with a virtually realistic scenario that helps to improve their practical skills. Otherwise, it becomes quite difficult to implement an unfamiliar skill in a totally different and realistic situation (Drossel, Eickelmann  & Gerick, 2017). In some cases, it has been revealed that VR technology increases mental stress within the students. However, educational institutions use this technology for its advantages.

    On the other hand, Makerspaces are excellent tools that are widely used by different educational institutions in the 21st century. Makerspace is a free programme that can be accessed by the students easily and the students can choose their topics of learning from the Makerspaces. This helps the students in developing their own knowledge on the topics of their interest using technologies and tools (Bolstad et al. 2012).  The new school in rural Victoria can also permit the use of Makerspaces for influencing project-based learning.

    Identification of external as well as internal partnerships

    The external and internal partners in education play a major role in the education system. In these days, educational institutions provide importance to their community partnerships for enhancing the quality of learning programmes and making people aware of the changes in the educational services (Bolstad et al. 2012).

    Community engagement is an essential aspect of the 21st-century educational system in Australia. The educational institutions always try to maintain a proper relationship with the parents of the students so that they can understand the requirements of the students properly and can improve their study programs accordingly (Rouse & O'Brien, 2017). The new school in rural Victoria can also ask for input and feedback from the parents of the students and the business partners regarding the advantages and disadvantages of their educational services. This might help them in understanding the special learning needs and learning disabilities of the students and it will become easier for the students to shape their teaching strategies accordingly.

    Moreover, the merging of the two schools might create difficulties for the teachers in teaching the students as the students of two primary schools used to come from different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, it is necessary for the new school to increase collaboration between the teachers and students for ensuring the success of the teaching and learning processes. In many researches, it has been revealed that modern schools use technologies for translating the study materials in different languages for resolving the issues of cultural differences in teaching and learning programmes (Scoular & Care, 2018). The new school also needs to upload the study materials in the e-learning sites in different languages so that the students can easily understand the learning materials. Moreover, training seasons might be organised for increasing awareness of different cultures and language among the teachers, students and the parents of the students.

    Identification of the changes in the curriculum and pedagogy

    In the 21st century, the curriculum and pedagogy are changing rapidly for meeting the needs of the modern and technically advanced world. Previously, the curriculum was not determined considering the needs of the students (Qian & Clark, 2016). However, in the 21st century, educational institutions in Australia provide the utmost importance to the interests of the students in determining the curriculum. In these days, educational institutions support student-centred and project-based learning approach (Taylor, 2016). Modern educational institutions inspire the knowledge of different technologies and practical skills rather than abstract theories that can hardly be implemented in real-life situations. EYLF also inspires a curriculum that helps the student to become self-dependent in life (Tondeur et al. 2017). Therefore, the new school in rural Victoria needs to determine the curriculum and pedagogical style considering the preferences of the students and the parents of the students.

    Moreover, the role of the teacher has changed in the 21st century. In the 20th century, the teacher used to play the role of an inactive supervisor. He used to provide instructions to the students and the students used to follow the instructions blindly (Tondeur et al. 2017). However, in the 21st-century teaching and learning, the idea of a teacher as an inactive supervisor has changed. Now the teachers take an active part in the project-based learning activity that helps to increase the interest of the students towards learning. The teachers of the new primary school also need to ensure that they take active parts in the learning programmes. The active participation of the teachers in the learning activities helps to improve the bond between the students and the teachers. In this process, it becomes easier for the teachers to identify the specific learning needs of the students and the teacher can shape his teaching style effectively for meeting the requirements of the students. This enhances the quality of educational services (Scoular & Care, 2018). Therefore, the teachers of the new primary school in Victoria also need to implement a pedagogy that best suits the learning style of the students in the school.

    Conclusion

    The main aim of the study has to explore the different aspects of teaching and learning in the 21st century. In this context, two primary schools want to be merged to find a new modern school where the students can avail better quality educational service.  Therefore, the study identifies the modern technologies that are used by reputed schools in the 21st century. Moreover, the study also analyses the importance of internal and external partnership in learning programmes. Along with that, the study identifies the changes in the curriculum and pedagogy in the 21st century along with their impact on the modern education system. It has been revealed in the study that the use of modern technologies in teaching and the active participation of the teachers in the learning programmes help in improving the quality of the teaching and learning programmes in the 21st century.  In this context, it has been recommended to the new school to consider the changes in pedagogy in the 21st century in their educational programmes.

     

     

    References

    Beetham, H., & Sharpe, R. (Eds.). (2013). Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing for 21st century learning. Abingdon: routledge. Retrieved on 17th September 2019 from   https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/30668884/file1.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline; filename=Describing_ICT-based_learning_designs_th.pdf&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A/20190923/us-east-1/s3/aws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20190923T070900Z&X-Amz-Expires=3600&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Signature=0b44ac4dff6aad17c2aa3817e2548120272e30a934142f484211e51d75d9a07f

    Bolstad, R., Gilbert, J., McDowall, S., Bull, A., Hipkins, R., & Boyd, S. (2012). Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching: A New Zealand perspective. Retrieved on 15th September 2019 from   http://openrepository.aut.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10292/12336/994_Future-oriented-07062012.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

    Drossel, K., Eickelmann, B., & Gerick, J. (2017). Predictors of teachers’ use of ICT in school–the relevance of school characteristics, teachers’ attitudes and teacher collaboration. Education and Information Technologies22(2), 551-573. . Retrieved on 12th September 2019 from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10639-016-9476-y

    Fullan, M., & Langworthy, M. (2014). Towards a new end: New pedagogies for deep learning. Retrieved on 12th September 2019 from https://michaelfullan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/New-Pedagogies-for-Deep-Learning-An-Invitation-to-Partner-2013-6-201.pdf

    Qian, M., & Clark, K. R. (2016). Game-based Learning and 21st century skills: A review of recent research. Computers in Human Behavior63, 50-58. Retrieved on 16th September 2019 from   https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563216303491

    Rouse, E., & O'Brien, D. (2017). Mutuality and reciprocity in parent–teacher relationships: Understanding the nature of partnerships in early childhood education and care provision. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood42(2), 45-52. Retrieved on 19th September 2019 from   https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.23965/AJEC.42.2.06

    Scoular, C., & Care, E. (2018). Teaching Twenty-First Century Skills: Implications at System Levels in Australia. In Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (pp. 145-162). Berlin: Springer, Cham. Retrieved on 18th September 2019 from   https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-65368-6_9

    Taylor, P. C. (2016). Why is a STEAM curriculum perspective crucial to the 21st century?. Retrieved on 18th September 2019 from   https://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/37950/

    Tondeur, J., Van Braak, J., Ertmer, P. A., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2017). Understanding the relationship between teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and technology use in education: a systematic review of qualitative evidence. Educational Technology Research and Development65(3), 555-575. Retrieved on 17th September 2019 from   https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11423-016-9481-2

    Tour, E. (2015). Digital mindsets: Teachers’ technology use in personal life and teaching. Language Learning & Technology19(3), 124-139. Retrieved on 15th September 2019 from  https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/44437/19_03_tour.pdf

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