- 21st century knowledge
- 21st century competencies
- 21st century values
- 21st century students
- 21st century educators
- 21st century schools
- 21st century classrooms ...
Strictly speaking, however, there is no 'Education for the 21st Century'.
▸ The century is just beginning
We can hardly visualize one or two decades ahead, at a high risk of failed predictions. Who can tell what the world will be like in 2050? Nobody can anticipate what can happen in 100 years, and in this century in particular, characterized as one of big uncertainties, rapid changes, major crises and catastrophes.
▸ What '21st century'?
The 21st century does not look or feel the same for everyone. Millions of people throughout the world continue to lack food, running water, toilets, electricity, decent work and housing, transportation, reading and writing, good education opportunities, basic services and basic citizenship rights.
Inequalities - within each country, between countries, between the global North and the global South - tend to become structural: extreme poverty and extreme wealth, hyper-consumption for some and misery for many, overinformation on one side and zero information on the other, the illiterate and the overqualified, the connected and the unconnected.
The Internet - which so many in the 'developed world' seem to take for granted at this point - is still absent from the daily experience of nearly half of the world population.
Evidently, life in the 21st century feels very different for those living with less than 1 or 2 dollars a day (the millions defined as living in extreme poverty) and for those participating in the Information Society, the Knowledge Society, the Consumption Society, the Abundance Society.
▸ What education?
There is no education in singular, as a universal fact and as a homogeneous experience. There are educations, in plural, of diverse natures, purposes and qualities, because realities, cultures, ideologies, aspirations and needs of concrete social groups are highly diverse. And because education is not confined to the education system; there is education in the family, in the community, at the workplace, through the media, participation, social service, etc.
Education and learning needs and experiences are shaped by specific economic, social and cultural contexts and conditions.
Internet-based education and learning continues to be a possibility for a minority. Getting a few computers in schools does not guarantee access to the Internet and basic conditions for teaching and learning.
Unfortunately, there are no one-size-fits-all education formulas for all.
▸ Education for the 21st century?
Rather than education or learning for the 21st century, what we have is education and learning in the 21st century. Education and learning that are placed historically in this century and that do not necessarily correspond to the '21st century' utopia and to the '21st century learning needs' conceived in the 'developed world'.
Related texts in this blog (English)
» Basic Learning Needs: Different Frameworks