Educating 21st century learners

With a new breed of learners comes new challenges to educate and engage them through new methods and tools of instruction.

Robert J. Marzano Ph.D., one of the leading education researchers of the world, believes that “blended learning’’ is the right way to engage 21st century learners, including millennials. Dr. Marzano will be the keynote speaker at the first ever Philippine International Conference on Teacher Education 2016 (PICTE), slated on Sept. 13-15 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City. PICTE will bring together noted international and local experts in education, who will share theories, trends, and best practices in engaging 21st century learners. A University of Washington alumnus, Dr. Marzano specializes in standards-based assessment, classroom interactions and its impact on learning, and outcomes-based assessment. His researches primarily revolve around classroom interaction, and how observational evidence of the classroom should be put into education policy-making and instruction.

“The problems that we have with the current system are that we are still using strategies and structures that go back a hundred years—the classroom where students are sitting, sometimes very passively. The 21st century learner, if anything, is very averse to that,” said Dr. Marzano. An advocate and expert in evidence-based education, a proactive methodology aimed at creating newer teaching methods and systems based on evidence and observation, Dr. Marzano said that the traditional “brick-and-mortar” schools may have to change dramatically over the next 10 years because of new educational reforms and trends. With the amount of available online resources, the blended learning approach has become ideal as a direct method of instruction, said Dr. Marzano who has authored more than 30 books and 120 scholarly articles on education and classroom instruction, including his most notable work The Art and Science of Teaching and Effective Supervision.

“Blended learning is the biggest innovation happening in the field of education,’’ he added. The blended learning approach entails student learning through digital and online media. The method can also realize the 21st century digital literacies of the Illinois-based National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

“21st century education will certainly still focus on important content, but there will be much more efficient ways to provide that to students that don’t demand as much from the classroom teacher, especially in areas that can be better exemplified and introduced using internet-based tools. 21st century education focuses heavily on cognitive skills,” said Dr. Marzano, who also founded Colorado-based education research center Marzano Research. Dr. Marzano said changes and trends have just been felt and that the education community is slowly embracing it.

“It’s a critical time right now and a very disruptive time in that we’re only becoming aware now of how schooling has to change—the structure, the scheduling, and maybe the whole physical environment. But it’s a very exciting time, too, as a function of those changes that are just starting but are absolutely necessary.” said Marzano.

Dr. Marzano will discuss Evaluating 21st Century School Effectiveness: Teachers’ Roles and Instructional Practices, Strategies for Cultivating Teacher Effectiveness, and Highly Engaged Classroom at PICTE 2016, and will be joined by other leading experts in the field of education: Marc Helgesen, renowned education researcher; Vincent Ribiere, Ph.D., leading expert in Knowledge Management; Allan Bernardo, Ph.D., professor of psychology and a leading researcher on the various psychological and mental aspects of learning; Ester B. Ogena, Ph.D., President of Philippine Normal University, the country’s premiere institution for teacher education; education technology specialists Galvin Ngo and Mark Anthony C. Sy, Joey Javier Reyes, Senior Professional Lecturer, College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University, and Alan Davis, Curriculum Consultant of McGraw-Hill Education, Singapore.

The education conference is made possible through the efforts of Abiva Publishing House, Inc. and is supported by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Education (DepEd). For registration and more information regarding PICTE, log on to, or contact Primetrade Asia at 897-0139.