7 Global Trends in Education in the 21st Century

The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration invited me to give a Spotlight presentation today via webinar. I took the research I’d done on Trends in Language Learning in the 21st Century and expanded it, examining trends in education as a whole in the 21st Century. The main question I wanted to answer was:

What trends are occurring in education in both developed and developing nations, at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, as well as in adult education regardless of whether the education is pubic or private, on every continent of the world?

The research is still in progress and so far, 7 main trends have emerged:

  1. Technology use and integration – Technology will not only enhance education, it will drive learning of all kinds.
  2. Expansion of mobile technology – Technology will become increasingly mobile, meaning that opportunities for learning will – and already do – exist everywhere, all the time.
  3. Asset-based approaches to evaluation – At the classroom level (through the use of portfolios), at the regional or national scale (through the use of benchmarks) and on a multi-national or international level (through the use of large scale frameworks).
  4. Increased creativity – Knowledge will be created and co-created, not simply “imparted” by teachers. Students are not just taking in facts, they are creating new knowledge.
  5. Global approaches to learning – Shared interests, curiosity and a hunger for learning are driving us to reach beyond our own borders.
  6. Global mobility – Teachers and students are experiencing more of the world, more often, starting from a younger age.
  7. Borderless education – The barrier of geography is being transcended by technology, creativity and a desire to “go global”.

Check out the slides for the presentation here:

21st Century Global Trends in Education (2010)


This is what participants said about this webinar:

“The webinar on Global Trends in Education in the 21st Century was very informative.  The easy-to-understand format presented developing trends in the field of education with a focus on how technology is impacting learning.  I highly recommend using these webinars as a means of keeping abreast of an ever-changing field.” -Debbie Fontenot

“Dr. Sarah Eaton’s informative presentation on Global Trends in Education reflects all of the current research on best practices for teaching/learning. I applaud her vision as we navigate  a new mindset in education. I would like to think of my colleagues and I as 21st Century Teachers Without Borders.” -Deborah Gavin, The Haverford School, Conshohocken, PA, USA

APA citation

How to cite this for your own research:

Eaton, S.E. (8 September, 2010). “Global Trends in Education in the Twenty-First Century”, presented online at the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC).


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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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