ISJ Internation Schools Journal Envisioning the K-Graduate Education Paradigm
ACS Athens

ISJ April 2014: Twenty-first century learning from a third century BC perspective


Lawrence Burke


There is considerable controversy as to what 21st century learning means or what kinds of skill sets are to be defined as 21st century skills within an educational framework. There is speculation and argument about what ought to be included. Children, parents, corporations and governments all have opinions on what skills are needed to prepare the 21st century student for life and how they should be included in a school curriculum. In his insightful essay Haywood asserts, and rightly so, that within the framework of 21st century learning we must face up to the existential human condition and offer an inclusive set of values and ideas that embody intercultural awareness and spirituality. (Haywood, 2014)

One of the fundamental premises underlying the current discourse on 21st century learning is that schooling at all levels needs to be restructured in a way which meets its demands and challenges. Yet this poses a conundrum, especially for policy makers and curriculum designers, because no one quite knows how to prioritise these demands and challenges.