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21st Century Learning
There have been enormous strides in our understanding of how the brain functions and how children and adults learn. We now know that people learn in a variety of ways, requiring information to be provided in a variety of formats.This new knowledge has given rise to new approaches toward more effective teaching and learning, such as:
- Project-based learning
- Student-managed learning
- Small-group work
- Independent research and presentation
- Universal design
21st century learners are citizens of the world, increasingly connected through media and technology. They must sift through and evaluate vast quantities of information, collaborate and innovate in ways never demanded before. To be a citizen in this rapidly changing world, they must be flexible, self-directed lifelong learners. Their learning spaces must support these needs.
Modern Learning Environments
While the realities of our modern world continue to change and evolve, our nation’s school buildings are largely configured and designed as they were 80 years ago: designed as factories for learning — with repetitive classrooms, sized for 30 students in a double-loaded corridor configuration.
Modern school environments support the needs of 21st-century learners by:
- Enhancing teaching and learning, and accommodating the needs of all learners
- Serving as the center of communities
- Providing health, safety and security
- Making effective use of adaptable resources
- Allowing for flexibility and adaptability to changing needs.
Modern learning environments no longer resemble similarly sized, individual classrooms. They achieve flexibility through multipurpose, multiscale spaces. They allow and encourage learning to happen everywhere.