Schooling for the 21st Century: Unleashing Student Passion

Project Based Learning

MIT distinguished professor Seymour Papert is among a growing group of scholars who support project-based learning, in which students move from hands-on work to abstract thinking by solving real-world problems.

Project Based Learning

Lisa Duke's students at First Flight High School in the Outer Banks in NC created this video as part of a service project in her Civics and Economics course curriculum.

To hear directly from her students on how this project impacted them and their learning go to and search for Bonner Bridge.


Seth Godwin

Grace Llewellyn

Another enemy is the guilt that blocks your natural curiosity. People who have never gone to school have never developed negative attitudes toward exploring their world. Unfortunately, you probably have. It’s not your fault if you don’t immediately want to run out and watch ladybugs with a magnifying glass. It might take time before your desire to learn surfaces from beneath the layers of guilt – the voices insisting I should learn this, I have to learn that. Give yourself time. Don’t push. You’ll recover.

Albert Einstein

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

Albert Einstein

It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.

Anatole France

The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards

Dorothy Parker

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

Curriculum and Resources

Technology Integration Matrix
The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells as illustrated below.

Principles for 21st Century Education

Mark Nichols in New Zealand
  1. Individualisation – adaptability to the learning needs of the individual.
  2. Meaningful Interactivity – providing opportunities for students to apply what they are learning.
  3. Shared Experience – enabling students (and encouraging them) to learn from one another.
  4. Flexible and Clear Course Design – preparing the entire course with a view to maximising student control while still providing clear expectations.
  5. Learner Reflection – encouraging students to mentally engage with course concepts and to consider their progress.
  6. Quality Information – providing actual content that is accurate and especially designed to facilitate understanding.

Essential Learning Functions- Essential learning with Digital Tools, the Internet and Web 2.0<span
    1. Ubiquity
    2. Deep learning
    3. Making things visible and discuss-able
    4. Expressing ourselves, sharing ideas, building community
    5. Collaboration – Teaching and learning with others
    6. Research
    7. Project Management
    8. Reflection and Iteration