20th Century vs. 21st Century: What are major differences in their classrooms?

We all know education has evolved over the years—and it even changes daily! Some of those differences can be hard to notice as you’re running through your day-to-day routine in your own classroom. We found this PDF from 21st Century Schools and Canadian Accredited Independent Schools helpful in understanding the changes in approach, pedagogy, and structure between 20th-century and 21st-century classrooms. Plus, it’s incredibly interesting!

This chart breaks down some key differences. For example, a class in the 20th century was a time-based, teacher-as-judge space isolated to one classroom with a fragmented curriculum and low expectations for students. Nowadays, you’re more likely to find a competency- or outcome-based,  student-centered class connecting ideas to a global environment and interdisciplinary lessons that raise the expectations for student success.

Of course, several changes to the classroom are due to the available technology we now have. Resources like Hawkes’s course management system give instructors the chance to focus more time with students on their learning rather than grading homework and tests. Society is becoming more high-tech than ever, and using technology in the classroom helps prepare students for the expectations set by most career paths in this fast-paced world.

Make sure to check out the document here and please let us know of other differences between last century’s classroom and our current one in the comments below!

“20th Century Classroom vs. the 21st Century Classroom.” CAIS. 21st Century Schools. n.d. Web. 19 July 2016.


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