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What is the right schooling in the 21st century?

by Manoj Upadhyay about a year ago in book reviews
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What is the right schooling in the 21st century?
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari is a truly probing inquiry about the 21st century’s most urgent issue i.e Education.


Education in India has seen a paradigm change in recent years. Once upon a time, the guru, his wisdom, and experience were believed to be infallible and absolute. Today, education is experiencing unparalleled criticism from all sectors of society.

The world is evolving at a previously inconceivable rate. We must now realize that we are training our children for the unexpected, the uncertain, and the unforeseen. It's not easy to swallow. School education in the 21st century must also be able to educate students on how to cope with unpredictability and transition.


Harari asserts in his book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century that modern education should seek to make sure that children become apt at problem-solving and decision-making. Students need to leave school with life skills that help them hurdle past any challenges even though they don't know the answers to them. More notably, they need to feel comfortable interacting with people around them who have diverse perspectives and collaborative life experiences.

There is virtually no single-dimensional or individualistic field of pursuit left. And if you take the most drastic case of a sportsman practicing an individual sport, such as tennis or athletics, they need to communicate with psychologists, teachers, big data technologists, etc. to work together as a team.


Education, in general words, is not only teaching the prescribed syllabus but expanding one's eyes to various possibilities, imbuing life skills, and training oneself to be entrepreneurial, in every walk of life. Entrepreneurship in the traditional context was based on the development of projects, but venture management and scaling are still part of the concept, so to speak, today.

The new teaching approach relies on reasoning and critical skills. The transferable abstract thinking skills and reflective observation of students lead to the growth of future careers. The method includes the use of project making, field trips, and challenges in a structured climate. It is the pillar of potential progress since it fills the difference between learning and doing. The disparity between philosophy and reality has been resolved. The learning curve is improved and the approach is influential in generating demonstrable thought and behavioral improvements.

Technology has made it possible to increase engagement with cultures, and educators can see technology as a way of enhancing the methodology and pedagogy of the modern century, not as a replacement for the educator. The path to the future is the use of technologies to make learning more normal. When our daily lives are empowered by technology, there is no reason why teaching-learning should be robbed of it, as states in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

The difference persists as students are trained using only conventional approaches, and the workplace is rife with the use of technologies. The student also struggles to adapt and flounders, leading to a specter of becoming a misfit in the jobs jungle. The use of technology in schools has contributed to numerous important improvements in student learning curves. AR/VR, AI, Blockchain is the current, not the future.

The key is to expose the child to new ideas and to train them for adversity and difficulties. The biggest task is to improve not only students but also educators. Teacher awareness activities are required for the future of education.

The willingness to adjust to uncertainty, new tasks and duties, routines, and materials will form the foundation of modern education as discussed at length in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. A wise and creative program is the best investment a school can make to train students for the knowledge economy of tomorrow.

book reviews

About the author

Manoj Upadhyay

A digital marketer & content creator with an extensive experience of 7 years working as SEO.


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