Quality Teaching and the 21st Century Learner (Part 2)

EducatorQuality Teaching and the 21st Century Learner

We asked 6 of our presenters about their thoughts on “quality teaching” and the “21st century learner”.  What does it really mean to be a 21st century learner?  What does quality teaching really mean?  In Part 2 of this post, here are the answers from our final 3 presenters:


Darryn Kruse

Principal and teacher at Williamstown High School, Victoria.  Teacher of history, social education and English Years 7 – 12.  Widely published author in the area of The Inquiry Classroom.  Experience teaching across Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and USA from Year 3 to university level.

I don’t think you can divorce quality teaching from quality and effective learning – practices that provide challenge and success for young people.  Knowing where a student is currently at – achievement levels, preferred learning styles, what engages them – and having a shared conversation with them about next steps for them and ways to challenge and support them towards growth.

We need to support students to be cognitive not passive learners – to take responsibility for their own understanding; to be independent, self-motivated and receptive so they can adapt and be flexible enough to learn new things, collaborate and think creatively – all of which are skills of the future.

This will not be achieved with a curriculum if students are passive consumers of teachers’ cleverness.


Joanne Blannin

Primary Teacher in France, England, America and Australia.  ICT Coordinator, Laburnum Primary School, Victoria and currently undertaking a Doctorate of Education focusing on the use of ICT in education

“For me, I am really excited about what technology can do for teaching and children in primary school.  The barriers are now so low, so we can personalise learning.  The intuitive nature of the technology – the 3 gestures of tapping, swiping, zooming – has removed a barrier to learning, especially for younger children.


Quality Teaching comes in when the teacher can negotiate with the child, and provide feedback about what they know, what they need to know and what the next step is.


It comes back to the teacher though, who sets the culture and expectations, rather than the tools; and our focus should be on what the tools can do for learning.”


Kery O’Neill

Veterinary surgeon. Research scientist. Science educator at primary, secondary, tertiary and community levels. Post Graduate Certification in Brain Based Training.  Previously a Senior Biology Teacher and HSC marker.

Often teachers and others focus on the numbers, the results.  But you automatically get the results if you focus on the learning rather than the numerical number.  Science often gets a bad rap, yet we do science every day, and the skills learned in science are important for decision making in the future.

For me, quality teaching means:

  • Empowerment through understanding
  • Educating the whole child
  • Learning for life in the 21st century
  • Achieving results without focusing on results.


See Part 1 of this article to read more comments from 3 other highly respected educators.

To read more about these presenters and the courses they offer, visit their profile page on the TTA website: Darryn Kruse, Joanne Blannin, Kery Neill

TTA offers ver 300 fully accredited, high quality practical professional development courses for teachers, delivered by over 200 experienced presenters across Australia via face to face or online.  www.tta.edu.au

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