Pedagogy. It’s so last century.

In my browsing, I’ve come across a couple of interesting websites and books. Well, there are hundreds of them, and the message that comes across is pretty consistent. The method of ‘transmission’ (lecturing AT students), is not effective for our new generation of learners in the 21st century – although this model still prevails in the majority of schools, nearly a quarter of a century in. As Cynthia Luna Scott points out in her paper, The Futures of Learning 3,twenty- first century instruction is based on three pedagogical principles – personalization, participation and productivity (McLoughlin and Lee, 2008a).”

Try this from Andrew Churches, whose Educational Origami blog sits on the Edublogs website:

Even if you have a 21st Century classroom, flexible and adaptable; even if you are a 21st Century teacher ; An adaptor, a communicator, a leader and a learner, a visionary and a model, a collaborator and risk taker; even if your curriculum reflects the new paradigm and you have the facilities and resources that could enable 21st century learning – you will only be a 21st century teacher if how we teach changes as well. Our pedagogy must also change.

How we teach must reflect how our students learn, it must also reflect the world they will emerge into. This is a world that is rapidly changing, connected, adapting and evolving. Our style and approach to teaching must emphasise the learning in the 21st century..


Or this, written by Terry Heick, the founder of TeachThought:


Whatever book, model, journal article, theory, model I see about 21st century pedagogy – or pedagogy for the digital age – the message is the same. It’s all about SKILLS – but beyond the 20th century skills that most teachers are already comfortable with.  These skills include: research and information literacy, collaboration, innovative and creative thinking, digital-literacy, global and cultural awareness . . . and more.  And, of course, communication, but NOT they type which is ‘so last century’, as Chris Dede points out:

“In 20th century instruction, little time is spent on building capabilities in group interpretation, negotiation of shared meaning or co-construction of problem resolutions. The communications skills it stresses are those of simple presentation, rather than the capacity to engage in richly structured interactions that articulate perspectives unfamiliar to the audience. Face-to-face communication is seen as the gold standard, so students develop few capabilities in mediated dialogue and in shared design within a common virtual workspace.” 


“Further, the nature of collaboration is shifting to a more sophisticated skillset. In addition to collaborating face-to-face with colleagues across a conference table, 21st century workers increasingly accomplish tasks through mediated interactions with peers halfway across the world whom they may never meet face-to-face. Thus, even though perennial in nature, collaboration is worthy of inclusion as a 21st century skill because the importance of cooperative interpersonal capabilities is higher and the skills involved are more sophisticated than in the prior industrial era.


I have sat in enough teacher professional development sessions about ‘teaching and learning’ to know that the only group of people already teaching ‘the 21st century way’ are DRAMA TEACHERS! 




Beetham, H. and Sharpe, R., eds. 2013. Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing for 21st Century Learning. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge.

Churches, A. (2008). 21st Century Pedagogy. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 1 April 2018].

Dede, C. (2010). Comparing frameworks for 21st century skills. 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn. 51-76.

Heick, T. 2016. 6 Channels Of 21st Century Learning. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 1 April 2018].

Scott, C.L. THE FUTURES of LEARNING 3: What kind of pedagogies for the 21st century? UNESCO Education Research and Foresight, Paris. [ERF Working Papers Series, No. 15].

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