Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept it: 21st Century Learning and Technology Education
This paper considers knowledge, skills and teaching approaches needed for successful learning in technology education and how this is situated against the principles of 21st Century Learning. Gilbert (Gilbert, 2005). says that success in this century is about striving to become a knowledge based society Bellanca and Brandt (2010) suggest that no generation can escape the responsibility of deciding what students should learn and that for learning in the 21st century they face a daunting challenge of equipping students with skills and knowledge necessary to survive in the information age. New knowledges and skills are needed to enable students success in the 21st Century and to become life-long learners (Gilbert, 2005). These include critical thinking and problem solving (Bellanca and Brandt, 2010). Many new ideas challenge current educational assumptions (Gilbert, 2005) and schools will need to change significantly to meet new and emerging needs of today’s students. This paper suggests that when taught in line with current philosophy of technology education, students engaged in quality technology education also engaged in Inquiry Learning. This occurs through the development and critique of products and systems designed to meet identified technological needs. Many skills learned during this process align with skills and knowledge for success in today’s world Inquiry learning is touted as a model of learning (Kuhlthau, Maniotes, & Caspari, 2007; Murdoch, 2004). (Kuhlthau et al 2007) that facilitates 21st century learning. This paper explores both 21st Century Learning and Guided Inquiry in depth with applications and implications for technology teachers discussed.