21st Century Teaching and Learning Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email

What is 21st Century Teaching and Learning?

21st Century learning is the accumulation of knowledge, work habits and soft skills, including digital literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving, that will help students lead successful careers in the modern workplace.

21st Century education sets children up to succeed in a world where more than half of the jobs they’ll have over their careers don’t even exist yet. In short, it’s an education that provides students with the skills and competencies they need to thrive in the 21st century.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in 21st Century Teaching and Learning in the following subject areas:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning – This suite of programmes have been designed for applicants who would like to gain a formal qualification in teaching and learning in Higher Education, and/or a qualification in Further Education.
  • Teaching & Learning – The programme aims to provide participants with the skills, knowledge and competencies to design, teach, assess and evaluate educational programmes and to enable them to become professional, reflective practitioners.
  • MA In Learning and Teaching – This programme is open to all those involved in teaching, training and/or supporting learning.
  • Professional Master of Education – This programme equips students with the principles, curriculum knowledge and pedagogical understanding with which to begin their teaching careers as competent and committed professionals.

Studying 21st Century Teaching and Learning

There are many courses in 21st Century Teaching and Learning that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favourably by employers.

Volunteering to help out at a local education, sports, community or youth centre is also a good way to gain some experience of working with children and organising group activities. It may also help you increase your knowledge of educational issues.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a 21st Century Teaching and Learning course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of teaching and youth work.

While teaching is a rewarding job it is also very demanding so it’s important to do your research and understand what’s involved before you enter this valuable profession. Training to be a teacher is challenging but there are a number of benefits to a teaching career. You’ll use your knowledge and skills to inspire and educate the next generation and the variety of your job means that you’ll gain plenty of transferrable skills in return.

You’ll get to watch young people learn and develop, meaning that job satisfaction is guaranteed. What’s more, you’ll have ample opportunities to progress your career.

If you are working in a state-maintained school, your employer will often be your local authority. However, you may be employed directly by the school – if, for example, you work for an academy, free school or independent school. You’ll also be employed directly by the institution if you work for a college.

Other employers can include central government departments, community and voluntary organisations, museums, the police and probation services, social services or universities.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a school or institution with set business hours or if you are contracted to various schools or institutions. Hours vary between schools but are usually from 8.30 am until 3.30 pm or 4 pm. Most teachers are in school before the school day starts and remain after school is finished.

Teachers also often spend time at home planning and preparing lessons and assessing pupils’ work. Teachers are in school for around 39 weeks of the year, but may also use time within the 13 weeks holiday for marking, planning and preparing.

Related jobs include:

  • Community education officer
  • Early years teacher
  • Education administrator
  • Education consultant
  • Education mental health practitioner
  • English as a foreign language teacher
  • Further education teacher
  • Learning mentor
  • Primary school teacher
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
  • Special educational needs teacher
  • Teaching assistant
  • Careers adviser
  • Child psychotherapist
  • Counsellor
  • Family support worker
  • Health play specialist
  • Museum education officer
  • Play therapist
  • Private tutor
  • Youth worker

Further study

After completing a course in 21st Century Teaching and Learning you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as Education Consultancy, Mentoring, Counselling, Special Needs Teaching.


What is the importance of 21st Century Teaching and Learning?

In this globally and digitally interconnected world all learners need new skills and knowledge to succeed. If we want to prepare our children for success in school, work and life, opportunities to learn 21st-century skills are essential.

These 21st-century skills are more important to students now than ever before. They not only provide a framework for successful learning in the classroom but ensure students can thrive in a world where change is constant and learning never stops.

What skills could be helpful for a career in 21st Century Teaching and Learning?

To become a good 21st Century teacher you need to have the skill or experience in some of the following skills:

  • Proven ability to relate to pupils and their parents/carers.
  • A depth of knowledge in the subject/age range and relevant curriculum. This enables teachers to know how to build good foundations for learning and set developmental expectations for their pupils.
  • The ability to convey your knowledge to the students in an engaging and understandable way. Inspirational teachers develop excellent communication skills through their work with young people and can teach the curriculum in a variety of ways to students who have diverse learning styles.
  • Confidence in your ability to teach and the capacity to be a good role model even when tired and under pressure.
  • Great organisational skills as teachers are often balancing many demands including pupil’s needs, lesson preparation, assessments and discipline matters.
  • Dedication, commitment and resilience. Excellent teachers reflect on their experiences and adapt their approach, constantly learning and improving.
  • The ability to deal with conflict and be patient and calm in sometimes stressful situations.
  • Integrity, which enables pupils, colleagues and parents/carers to be able to trust you as a teacher.

Where can I study 21st Century Teaching and Learning?

Explore your options here

 Did You Know?

  • In 1990, before Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling landed a publishing deal that would change her life, she actually worked in Portugal as an English language instructor.
  • South African Anglican cleric, activist, author, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu began his career not as a clergyman, but as a teacher in the very high school he graduated from. After spending three years teaching English and history, Tutu left the school to pursue a degree in theology, leading him to become a deacon in the church, which would begin his journey toward becoming one of the greatest theologians and spiritual teachers in the world.
  • Anne Sullivan is one of the most famous teachers in history, remembered for her life-changing work to help a young, blind, deaf, and mute child named Helen Keller learn to communicate with the world.
  • Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Maria Montessori was the first female doctor in Italy and later developed the Montessori educational system still used throughout the world today.
  • Aristotle, considered to be one of the most influential thinkers in history, played a critical role in the foundation of much of what we consider philosophy and scientific thinking. Aristotle tutored many kings, including Alexander the Great, Ptolemy and Cassander.

Mariza Halliday

Film Studies Courses
Creative Writing Courses


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We'd love to send you the latest news and articles about evening classes, further learning and adult education by email. We'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care and will never sell them to other companies for marketing purposes.

Comments and Reviews Policy