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M.S.Ramaiah Polytechnic, BANGALORE
E-mail : amsubramanyam@yahoo.com The curriculum must go beyond content knowledge to include a strong emphasis on 21st
century skills

1.INTRODUCTION What engineering students need to learn today?

Engineering education that not only requires students to grasp traditional engineering
Education is the kindling of a flame, not the fil ing of a vessel - Socrates fundamentals; such as mechanics, dynamics, mathematics and technology, but to also develop

A. Education - New Era, New Focus - Lifelong learning the skills associated with learning to imbed this knowledge in real-world situations. This not only
demands skills of creativity, team work and design, but in global collaboration, communication,

Sl. No Economy Education Working Life management, economics and ethics. Furthermore, the rapid pace of change of technology seems
fated to continue for many decades to come. This will require the engineers we are training today

1 Agrarian Between age of 7-14 years Next 40 years to learn to be lifelong learners and to learn to develop adaptive expertise.
One model is the “Three curricular pillars” developed at Purdue University for guiding their

2 Industrial 5 to 22 years Next 40 years curricular reforms.


3 Knowledge Education and learning throughout an individual working life 21ST CENTURY SKILLS

Lifelong learning.
– The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has developed a vision for 21st Century
student success in the new global economy.

B. Learning – New ways

Today students need
?To learn how to find what they need to know, when they need to know and the best sources available.
?To have higher order thinking skills to analyze and evaluate the information they find.
How will educational institutions do this?
?Educational institutions and classrooms must be transformed from being storehouses of knowledge to being a place for students to explore ,to
question, to experiment, to discover.
?No longer is it necessary for teacher to deposit information in students’ head. Instead their role is to be a ‘Guide on the side’ – Encouraging….
Guiding…. Mentoring… supporting the learning process. Creative classrooms today are ones where everyone is learning from each other, as well as
the teacher!
?Curriculum and classes must be designed that will engage students in active problem solving and discovery. And today’s digital age provides nearly “21st century student outcomes” (represented by the rainbow) are the skills,
limitless resources for real world learning. knowledge and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life
Curriculum and instruction are at the heart of any educational endeavor, as they determine what is taught, and how. in the 21st century.


Oral narrative

simulations Based isolated drill
and practice
Tools contectualized
Technology Skills
Enhanced Based
opportunities Knowledge of modelling
Communication How People Learn


self Individual Inquiry

study vs problems
Group Based
cooperative projects
jigsaw learning
learning by design

John D. Bransford, Ann L. Brown, and Rodney R. Cocking,

There are many possible teaching strategies that are debated in education circles. Fig. depicts
them in the diagram format: Lecture based, text based, inquiry based teaching, etc.
Are some of these teaching techniques better than others?
Is lecturing a poor way to teach?
Is cooperative learning effective?
Asking which teaching technique is best is analogous to asking which tool is best – a hammer, a
screwdriver, a knife or pliers. In teaching as in carpentry, the selection of tools depends on the task
at hand and the materials one is working with. Books and lectures can be wonderfully efficient
modes of transmitting new information for learning.
There is no universal best teaching practice!
Focusing on how people learn also will help teachers move beyond either or dichotomies that
have plagued the field of education. One such issue is whether educational institutions should
emphasize 'the basics' or teach thinking and problem-solving skills. Both are necessary!
Students' abilities to acquire organized sets of facts and skills are actually enhanced when they are
connected to meaningful problem-solving activities and when students are helped to understand
why, when, and how those facts and skills are relevant. Attempts to teach thinking skills without a
strong base of factual knowledge do not promote problem-solving ability or support transfer to
new situations.


20th Century Learning: Content 21st Century Learning:
Mastery Process Skills
Limited access to knowledge and information Infinite access to knowledge and information
(i.e.‘content’) primarily through print (content) through Internet
Emphasis on learning content knowledge that may Emphasis on process skills for lifelong learning
or may not be used in life
Goal is to master content knowledge Goal is to learn skills (access, analyze,evaluate,
(literature, history, science, etc) create, participate) to solve problems
Facts and information are “spoon-fed” by teachers Teachers use discovery approach based on a
to students process of inquiry
Print-based information analysis with pen and-ink Multi-media analysis and collaboration using
tools technology tools
Pencil / pen and paper or word processing for Powerful multi-media technology tools for
expression expression, circulation and dissemination
Classroom-limited learning and dissemination with World-wide learning and connecting, with ability to
little collaboration team up world-wide
Textbook learning from one source, primarily print- Real-world, real-time learning from multiple
based media sources, using technology tools
Conceptual learning on individual basis Project-based learning on team basis

“Lock-step” age-based exposure to content Flexible individualized exposure to content

knowledge knowledge and process skills
Mastery demonstrated through papers and tests Mastery demonstrated through multi-media
Teacher selecting and lecturing Teacher framing and guiding

Teacher evaluates and assesses work and Students learn to set criteria and to evaluate own
assigns grade work
Teaching with state-adopted textbooks for subject Teaching to state education standards with
area with little accountability for teaching testing for accountability
Students passive vessels Students active participants and contributors
A. Learning Spaces
Learning is the central activity of colleges and universities. Sometimes that Interactive Power Electronics Seminar (iPES)
learning occurs in classrooms (formal learning); other times it results from www.ipes.ethz.ch
serendipitous interactions among individuals (informal learning). Space -whether
physical or virtual - can have an impact on learning. It can bring people together; It
can encourage exploration, collaboration and discussions. Or, space can carry an
The following Java applets are part of the Introductory Course on
unspoken message of silence and disconnectedness. More and more we see the Power Electronics taught by Prof. Kolar at the ETH Zurich. The
power of built pedagogy (the ability of space to define how one teaches) in colleges
and universities. interactive and animated applets are used as aid for teaching in
Facets of learning space design ; learner expectations, the principles and
activities that facilitate learning, and the role of technology. the classroom and are displayed using a laptop and a beamer.
Many of today’s learners(Net Gen Students) favor active, participatory, Furthermore, the applets do provide an opportunity for the
experiential learning.
IT has highly integrated into all aspects of learning spaces. students to experiment and learn at home more efficiently.

Computer with an Internet Connection, a video projector, a VCR, a telephone, a sound

system and an external Laptop ports all controlled by single touchscreen switching
Learning in an Emergent, Model-Based Environment Created by Cyberinfrastructure
and Community – nanoHUB.org
“ The illiterate of the future are not those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn” - Alvin Toffler.

References :
University - MIT, PURDUE, ETM-ZURICH, American society for Engineering Education.
Industry - Mathworks, Partnership 21st Century Skill, IBM, Microsoft, CISCO.
Books - Engineer 2020, How people learn, Learning Spaces