Preparing Teachers To Deliver 21st Century Skills In Times of Crisis

Here are the key skills teachers of the 21st century will need to possess from here on to deliver education in a post-pandemic scenario.

The global pandemic coronavirus resulted in worldwide destruction. With educational institutions shut for almost two months, and probably inoperative for another 3 months, students have already lost the first half of the New Year to the catastrophic virus.

Thus, the need of the hour is to ensure that a student’s future is secure and learning is delivered seamlessly. It is thus, imperative that along with the education system, our teachers also undergo a facelift to adapt to the new world order.

Following will be the key skills teachers of the 21st century will need to possess from here on to deliver education in a post-pandemic scenario: 

Psychological preparedness and disaster management  

The current global situation demands teachers to be mentally prepared to act swiftly and make on the spot innovations to instill necessary life skills in their students. Students are vulnerable and tensions in their surroundings can affect their mental health adversely. With information readily available on the internet, young minds can often fall into a trap of fake news. Thus, teachers should develop the knowledge and understanding to be able to counsel their students and answer their questions appropriately.

Considering the importance given to mental health and its effects on growth and development, mental health awareness, customized study material and sensitivity will be a vital skill that teachers will need to possess to deliver education to the new crop of students in the 21st-century post-pandemic world.

Advent and growth of virtual education and smart classrooms 

Due to the concept of social distancing gaining prominence, schools and educational institutes were forced to transition to virtual classrooms or other modes of online education in a matter of days. In the coming years, the importance of virtual education is going to grow two-fold. Virtual classrooms have in them the ability to take education to places where schools cannot even reach, hence not only for normal schooling but also for disaster management and other functions – the reliance of virtual classrooms is just touted to grow in the coming years.

Focus on practical aspects and real-time learning 

One major change expected to redefine education in the coming years is the shift from books and rote learning to more practical, and skill-based. Teaching in a post-crisis 2020 has to be in complete contrast to the traditional forms of learning. Due to the growing demand for vocational training courses, it is most likely that traditional full-time education may lose its relevance. An increasing number of adolescent learners will choose vocational courses to determine their careers in the future.

Thus, educators will now be mandatorily required to impart learning that can be applied practically. Hence, there is a need for constant up-gradation.

Need for public-private research collaboration  

According to the latest World Intellectual Property Report, China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States are the dominant countries for the creation and flow of knowledge.  In the future academic and public sector institutions will play an important role to focus on innovation network and identify global “hotspots” for our youth. Teachers will thus need to develop an appetite for continuing research and development. Research is going to be the focal point of education in the future and educators with research background will become the ones that rise to the occasion.

In conclusion, teaching is an ability that is priceless however, with the change in the attitude of learners teachers also have to change. Teachers will have to upgrade themselves with the latest in technology and develop skills like collaboration, self-study, individual discovery, leadership, technology and networking to make themselves better professions and in turn, create better future leaders.

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