21st Century Sustainable Learning Spaces Are Two Faced

face2faceLearning in the 21st century is “two faced” One face of hope, international collaboration and experiences which will benefit human kind especially in terms of education and medicine. But the other face of 21st century learning is the drastic effect of mining and refining the earth resources so as to make technology accessible, faster, more adaptable and wide-spread.

Originally I believed that in the 21st century there is no “secret ingredient” for the perfect design but an alliance of all the needs of each individual in the class sitting in front the educator at the start of each school year. And as the year goes on, with all the learning and social interaction that occurs, that the design of the classroom needs to remain dynamic, energetic, unpredictable but most importantly, sustainable.

As far as the people of world have progressed technologically it is important to remember that it has been at the expense of nature and the earth’s treasures such as rare earth materials.

Learning in the 21st century is not just about content of knowledge based on previous contents but curriculum is about how to remain sustainable, how to repay the earth, how to negotiate progression with regression. How to lower the rate of consumerism.

Curriculum in the 21st century will need to be about stewardship, international alliance and protecting borders that encapsulate the planet and not individual country borders.

Curriculum will need to be advising human migration from country to country, the effects on the areas of migration and how to prepare for them

21st century curriculum will be about social justice and equality. People are people, regardless of language, colour of skin. Our classrooms need to be platforms for this conscious acceptance and economic and social support for all human beings.

Our classrooms have and always will be scale models of the world. Teachers have the opportunities to develop miniature leaders who will define the growth of the world by its ability to grow; curriculum development within the walls of “learning” can make our future productive, humanly just ,economically viable and socially equal.

Our 21st century is just 13 years in and still holds a solid 87 years to go. Our learning environments are presently not sustainable, not socially just and equal and most definitely not able to be maintained at a rate without detrimental effects on humankind and 
the earth’s resources which in turn will lead to greater and quicker responses in global warming. According to National Geographic statistics, humankinds footprint takes up 83% of the planet already…87 years to go in this century..we cannot sustain this pace without the repercussions on us all globally.

Our students are our hope but their teachers need to be their models.



Filed under 21st Century Learning, Learning Spaces

5 responses to “21st Century Sustainable Learning Spaces Are Two Faced

  1. Your statement about learning in the 21st century being ‘two faced’ is a very clever concept, and one that particularly struck me when watching your presentation. I agree that it is very important to consider the implications of technology on our environment and we as teachers MUST educate our students to use technology in a way that effectively minimizes these repercussions.

    • fin

      Thanks for the comment. I realise now that environmental impact is “still very silent” in terms of what lays ahead. We know there are environmental impacts but to what extent will they be in say 50 years…very concerning!

  2. fin

    Thanks for the comment. I came up with the concept of “two faced” because one minute technology was the answer to evreything and the next minute it was causing so many of its own problems. I still struggle with what point technology stops being beneficial and starts being a problem. And the role of technology in the 21st century classroom.

  3. Your statement about future classrooms being socially equitable is something that I had not thought of before reading your post. I had mainly been considering the actual learning spaces themselves. However, you have now made me consider the social equity and I also think this will be a really important part of future learning spaces. I think that the future of learning and classrooms will have a more global awareness and be teaching/preparing students to be ‘global citizens’ who understand what is happening in the world and will take action to right inequities etc.


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