Teaching in the 21st Century

Educational system goals are inextricably intertwined with society’s requirements. Seth Godin’s talk in the link below is very insightful in understanding how the training of obedient and passive individuals was incentivized by the industrial revolution. In short, mass-producing companies benefited and preferred such complying individuals who carry their passivity into the workplace.


In contrast, the modern world seeks and cherishes people who can stand out and have innovative and out of the box ideas. Consequently, it only makes sense to update the educational system to reflect modern society and refrain from traditional teaching objectives such as pure obedience, memorization, and standardization. Additionally, contemporary pedagogy should take advantage of the rapid advancements in technology and their increasing adoption rate and usage, especially by the young generation. The new technologies have made people more connected than ever before, providing opportunities for cooperative instead of isolated learning. Many kids are already better familiar with the latest technologies. Given the right mindset and mentorship, they will become the change agents to advance their society instead of staying safe by keeping quiet.

I want to end my blog post with a quote from “A New Professional: The Aims of Education Revisited” by Parker J. Palmer that resonated the most with me and that shows how powerful and impactful pedagogy is:

“It was long assumed that females failed at math because their brains were structured differently than men’s. Then came a generation of pedagogues who saw the secret hidden in plain sight: Women are told early on that “girls can’t do math,” so they come to class with minds paralyzed by fear. Today, as many math educators pay attention to emotions as well as to the intellect, women succeed in math at rates similar to those of men.”


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3 Responses to Teaching in the 21st Century

  1. Rania Alsobhi says:

    Thanks Maftouni for your post. I think creativity can be an essential tool for any type of profession. We need these people also we have to be innovative and think out of the box particularly in the education system that needs to reform. For example, in my country, Saudi education system should recognize the necessity of developing its university system to world-class standards and of significantly increasing access to and participation in higher education. I mean should be an extensive practice of using technology in education that will result in a reevaluation and reform of traditional methods of learning at least providing students with different options for delivering learning such as online or hybrid learning. Unfortunately, despite the importance of distance education, not all online degrees provided by Saudi universities are acceptable as legitimate degrees for all legal and employment purposes. I think Saudi institutions of higher education should now remove physical barriers to learning and deliver courses and academic programs in different mods based on students’ needs. Technology is really a powerful tool that can support and transform education in many ways, from making it easier for instructors to create instructional materials to enabling new ways for students to learn and work together.

  2. alisafi says:

    Thanks for your very interesting blog post! I agree that the form of education needs to change to catch up with the significant changes that have happened to society over the past several decades. Yet, as much as it becomes more and more important, this progress has been very slow and many of the courses are still built upon the “obedience, memorization, and standardization” style. This gap between the society and educational system lowers the students’ performance and the negative outcomes eventually go back to the society itself. In this regard, it is the governments’ and educational institutions’ duty to act sooner than later to update the system and enhance the quality of education.

  3. deryaipek says:

    Thank you for the exciting post! For some reason, it reminds me of the song “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd, which (along with the music video) puts an emphasis on how education transforms students into one-type individuals who definitely cannot reach their full potential because of the killed dreams. Of course, this is a radical opinion, and we do need education. We just need an equal opportunity education system. I also agree with you that this is what the government and big companies want. As bad as it sounds, whatever change they desire in the population, they first plant the seeds in the education system. As future educators, I think we can change this. In my opinion, we need to empower everyone equally with no judgment and full encouragement. As you said, we should not (intentionally or unintentionally) paralyze the minds but encourage and empower them.

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