Business Learning System for Globalisation Business


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How is education changing in the 21st century? What are the key factors driving change in education and what is their impact on teaching and learning in the 21st century?

Education and the learning system has undergone a myriad of changes over the years going into the 21st Century. There is a difference in skills demand in the workplace and  the teaching methods as well. Factors like social change, globalization and technological advancement have transformed the approaches to education and learning, and how the learners access information. Social change, for instance has changed the societal involvement and approach to education. Globalization and technological change have made knowledge more accessible and improved its variety and quality. These changes, however have not been without impact t teaching and learning in the 21st Century. This change has for instance brought about a set of “21st Century skills” that are more relevant in the life outside the classroom. This paper explains the key factors driving this change as well as the specific areas of change. Finally, we explain the impact of these changes on pedagogy.

Over the years, technological advancements and globalization have changed how we access and share information. In retrospect, for instance, the Agrarian Revolution transformed the labor market in the first half of the 20thCentury even though in a systematic fashion. In comparison, automation and computerization have been altering human life for better and for worse. The technological revolution has been quite speedy especially during and after the computer age. The effects attendant to this revolution has been broad and far-reaching. On education and information access and sharing, technology has enabled access to better and more information. Researchers and scholars argue that since the 1970s, a blend of new technologies economic transformations and socio-political trends, have altered people’s social lives, more so education and upbringing (Ludger & Hanushek, 2008 p. 13).

Those trends necessitated some changes in education and the learning system. The education system, for instance does not focus on theoretical knowledge acquisition and memorization as the objective of education as is the case in traditional learning. Instead, the new learning system focuses on the learner being able to put knowledge in practice and solve life problems. Further, skills acquisition and mastery is viewed as the purpose of education. This enables the learner to fit in well into the technological 21st Century after school. The new learning system focuses on influencing in the students more and specific “21stCentury skills.” These skills will enable the learners to be relevant in a dynamic, technology-saturated new age. These skills typically comprise of critical thinking, which would allow students to develop a broad and deep understanding of issues; creativity, that is emphasized by using visual stimulations and practical tests; and communication and teamwork that would facilitate transfer and merging of ideas for the common goal. Other fundamental skills highlighted in 21st Century learning are numeracy, computer, and interpersonal skills. “These skills allow the learner to grasp gradually the constructs that will better equip them for future situations” (Watson, 2008).

This stands in sharp contrast to the traditional learning system, where the community was an extension of learning due to their heavy involvement, and education was more dogmatic than pragmatic. In all, it is hard to generalize the term 21st – Century education. It can be thoughtof like the changes involved in remodeling of the educational curriculum in tandem to the technological advancements that have been witnessed entering into the age of technological advancement. Simply put, it is the difference between traditional and modern learning. In defining these new developments in education, educators, scholars and the educational wing of government should dig deeper than the flashy phrases and poorly defined buzzwords that tend to qualify the “21st Century educational skills” mantra (Redden, 2009).

The new curriculum has come about due to social change, technological advancements and the typical skillsare set required for this new technology. However, there are traces of traditional education styles and values in this new learning model.

Traditional learning is understood as the old approaches adopted by educators during the process of providing learning, in almost a similar fashion as 21st Century learning is a modern or more-evolved learning approach. In the older learning system, learning is tuned to mold the learners into future employers or employees. In other words, traditional education is majorly linear, with an insistence on mastery of theoretical knowledge and the ability of particular skills set in preparation for life after the classroom (Ludger & Hanushek, 2008 p. 11).

For instance, the learners receive education and authority in a hands-off manner with minimal or no involvement. The educators also solely disseminated information as well as enforce authority, and the community is only an observer, not an integral entity and extension of the classroom. The students or learners viewed school as a stage in life that needs to be overcome, with success being the end-product. Their job was to be taught and absorb and mentally retain this knowledge being given them. On the other hand, the tutors considered it their responsibility to provide knowledge to learners. Since the purpose of learning was to “train an employee or employer”, the educators were also tasked with determining which knowledge was relevant to a given set of learners based on their future roles. They (educators) would then order and segment this knowledge into “logical sets of curriculum units that can be taught using instructive, step-wise methods, and conduct assessments in a clear, unambiguous manner” (Bolstad et al., 2012). Further, a person’s level of education and academic excellence was a major source of respect and social status. In traditional learning, academic excellence, and not skills set, determined whether or not a person would be successful in life. 

A distinguishing feature of traditional education is the structure of learning and assessment. The structure of education follows a distinct part with specific stages or intervals at the end of which learners are assessed within the boundaries of the content learned (or taught) during this period. The tutors teach, as the purpose of education, not skills acquisition, but academic success. The student assessment is a test of memorization prowess and specific to time or interval of schooling. Languages and sciences are given a wide berth and learners are unable to make connections between the two. The end-result of the teaching session is academic excellence, which mainly tested memorization of facts rather than their practical application in problem-solving. Probably the upside of this form of learning was that there was some level of constancy and certainty regarding the kind of jobs that people would be best suitable for once they finished school By comparison, however, the concept of 21st Century learning is the exact opposite.


In its broadest sense, education in the 21st Century is used as a general definition of the modern practices, methods, and techniques implemented in passing knowledge. It is a term used very commonly when referring to the original clump of ideas, concepts, theories, and practices associated with new-age education and its relevance. There isn’t a concise definition of the term agreeable among educators, scholars and other interest groups. “21st Century education is mundane and used as a general description for almost every skill or attribute: soft skills, life skills, work skills, interpersonal skills, as well as non-cognitive skill and a host of other skill clusters.”(Craig, 2009, p. 1).

In the new-age learning, learning is diverse with in-depth analysis, understanding, and skills mastery being the sole purpose of education. This new system of learning used the shortcomings of the traditional knowledge as the basis for its distinct characteristics hence suitability (Craig, 2009).

In this form of learning, knowledge is acquired more through practice and direct experience than class work and theory. As opposed to traditional learning where students knowledge being passed was narrow and fundamental with no skills-theory linkage, students are equipped with in-depth, all-round knowledge of various concepts that further emphasized the “21st Century skills.”Languages and sciences are integrated, skills and theoretical knowledge go hand-in-hand. The goal of education is to impact knowledge and skillsinto the learner (Watson, 2008). Consequently, assessment majors on the evaluation of progress and not graded as is the case in traditional learning. Success is achieved through teamwork in problem-solving and is measured as a level of prowess in the practical application of academic content. Lastly, a different feature of traditional and 21st-Century learning is that knowledge is no longer a preserve of experts as learners are well placed to master a certain skills set as well as obtain this knowledge from outside the lectures i.e. the community, fieldwork or innovation through the repetitive application. In the new system of learning, learners are rarely taught based on the roles and jobs they are expected to assume after school, because of the dynamic social, economic and technological developments. Rather, 21st Century education models an individual that are knowledgeable in many arts and sciences and with the mindset and skills set to live in an increasingly globalized, reticulate and mutualism world.

Some factors arenecessitating this chance and paradigm shift, such as technological advancements, globalization, and sweeping social change. Technological advancements are essentially ‘the integration of scientific machinery and aids in our daily life and the ease with which information can be shared over a wide geographical or demographic scale over a short time. “Technology affects education for better and for worse in almost equal measure. Ease of information dissemination and acquisition is dependent upon teaching and learning tools, such as ease of access to text through the internet and information exchange between tutor and learner via, say, e-mail. This is fundamental given that geographical barriers can be easily overcome and access to information made easier” (Beck, 2009). Technological advancements have majorly altered the process of learning, both for good and for worse. For instance, it has reduced time of tutor-learner contact and at the same time increasing volume and quality of education. This advancement has, however, also introduced intellectual malpractices such as plagiarism and copy/pasting of previous works. Technological advancements have also brought about automation, and it is more than a replacement of human limbs with computerized machinery. This computerization has also led to a demand for a new set of skills i.e. computer skills (Craig, 2009, p.6).

Nonetheless, technological advancements are not the only factor necessitating this change. Globalization also has a role to play in the reshaping of learning in the 21st Century. Globalization is ‘growth or spread to a global or a worldwide scale’ (Bagnall, 2013, p. 276). This growth is as a result of worldwide connection – social, cultural, political, economic and environmental. Globalization makes previously inaccessible information mundane and diverse. Exchange of ideas, products and other cultural aspects is enhanced, and this accounts for the spiral, in-depth and broad nature of new 21st Century learning. This could be a problem, however, as conflicting or radical ideas could have negative social and cultural implications, challenging the community as an extension of the classroom (Elizabeth, 2009).

Globalization is arguably a major factor affecting this change. This is because globalization fundamentally alters education policy and practice are, and their adaptation is dependent on world markets and intercontinental relations, for instance, Asia, and the Americas. Globalization reduces inequalities inside and within countries and continents, building a cohesive and integrated community that favors exchange of education policies. Globalization brings about social change, which also affects change in education.

Social change is essentially the changes in behavior, culture, and values of an extended group of people having distinctive cultural, economic and interpersonal organization. Social change arises due to outside exposure and interchange of social and cultural beliefs and practices because of, say, globalization. For instance, different conceptions about the role of community in education, or effects of education on people’s cultural beliefs can influence the way learners receive, interpret, and apply academic knowledge. Practices about fairness and justice can also be influenced by a select group’s interpretation of the education received in class and social practices and preferences. This usually brings about the issue of morality versus law, often pitting personal judgment between right and wrong against “classroom-acquired principles”. Moreover, tutor-learner relationship and by extension mode of learning is affected by this social change because how the two engage and relate implications on knowledge transfer. “For 21st Century education to be useful, it should address factors like the state of theglobalization of the world due to social change and technological advancements; the shift in skills demand; interconnection and interdependence of languages and sciences; and the link between academic prowess skills mastery” (Craig, 2009, p. 17).

Teachers also need to recognize the social aspects that shape the quality of the teaching profession. For example, if the student body respects a tutor as learned and source of guidance, they will be more receptive to pedagogy (A Paradigm Shift).

The shift from traditional learning has been a necessity attendant to the technological advancements, social transformation and globalization witnessed in the 21st Century. Educators are now skills trainers and not simply knowledge disseminators, and assessment is a progress evaluation of skills mastery over time. Students are now able to apply the classroomgainedknowledge in practice due to the hands-on approach of this new system of learning. Moreover, students now derive satisfaction from mastery of skills and in-depth understanding of theory than academic excellence emphasized by traditional education.


“A Paradigm Shift.”

Bagnall, N. (2013). Globalization.South Melbourne, Oxford University Press.p. 276

Beck, Robert H. (2009).The Three R’s Plus: What Today’s Schools are Trying to do and Why. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 3-6.

“History of Education,” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2007

Ludger, W &Hanushek, E. A., (2008) “The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development”.Journal of Economics Literature. 8(1): p. 11-26

Redden, Elizabeth (2009). “A Global Liberal Arts  Alliance.“Inside Higher Education.

Watson, J. (2008). Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Education.Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado

Craig, D. J., (July 2009) “Defining a 21st Century Education”. The Centre for Public Education. provides homework help from K-12 and beyond. Our homework writing services cover a vast range of subjects and can help students with their essays, projects, book reports and more. We have more than 3000 highly qualified homework writing helpers on our team to make sure students get only the best.

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