Learning in the Twenty-first Century: Time for a Different Conversation

By Christina De Simone.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 8, 2016 $US5.00

Educational researchers and educators claim that every twenty-first century learner must be equipped with a high level of education. However, not every learner will access, engage with, or want to follow this model. For instance, individuals with co-existing disorders or co-morbidity (e.g., learners with Down syndrome and anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and learning disabilities, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and cerebral palsy) will not necessarily benefit from such an approach to teaching. It is time to alter the question from “How does the educational community equip everyone for twenty-first century learning?” to “How can we construct other trajectories for diverse learners in the twenty-first century?” In addition, it is vital that educators investigate the types of interventions that transcend current modifications to teacher training, curriculum, instruction, and assessment. By reviewing the learning challenges that individuals with complex special needs have faced over time and examining the approaches, this article will demonstrate how different pathways to learning can benefit learners and teachers.

Keywords: Twenty-first Century Learning, Pedagogy, Inclusive Education, Learners with Complex Disorders

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 23, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.19-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 8, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 357.622KB)).

Dr. Christina De Simone

Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada