21st Century Education

21st Century Teaching and Learning

21st Century Learning

Twenty-first Century Teaching and Learning (21st CTLL) is a student-centered approach to learning that builds on Responsive and Inclusive Teaching to engage students through technology and the environment so that students create richer meaning from their learning. Although 21st CTLL is not new, using technology and the environment for student construction of meaning is. It is a response to learner needs and a student-centered approach incorporating innovative instructional strategies that acknowledge student differences for learning.

In DoDEA’s 21st century schools, development of school environments that support flexible and adaptable spaces will be critical for teaching and learning. Teams of HQ staff visited schools and communities to listen and learn. DoDEA’s three 21st CTLL Technical Work Groups (TWG) developed products to assist the organization in a broad understanding of 21st CTLL.

As we begin the school year, the 21st CTLL TWGs will continue their work to define 21st century teaching, learning, and leading. They have drafted student outcomes, defined a curriculum and launched a website that will house research, the project’s development and a site for feedback. The TWG membership includes Area leadership, Area and District Instructional Specialist, Teachers of the Year, principals, association representation, and Headquarters staff.

DoDEA's 21st Century Schools and Facilities Renovation and Construction Initiative

21st Century Facilities

In School Year 2010-2011 DoDEA launched an aggressive and comprehensive program to completely renovate or replace 134 of its schools worldwide. In FY 2012 Congress appropriated $483 million to support our school construction program.

This year, DoDEA opened the doors of the new Irwin Intermediate School on Fort Bragg, NC. During the 2012-2013 school year DoDEA will continue to move forward with its military construction initiative. The pace of the DoDEA military construction program has increased dramatically over the past year. During the last year, DoDEA initiated 40 school designs and made five school construction awards. In the upcming calendar year, DoDEA anticipates an additional 21 designs to be initiated and 13 additional construction awards.

DoDEA recognizes that schools of the future must be flexible and adaptable, facilitating new and innovative ways to deliver instruction and meet the needs of all students.

DoDEA's 21st Century schools take into consideration innovation in education, curriculum delivery, use of technology, and the growing expectations for sustainability and energy conservation. We are pleased to announce that the Antilles ES was awarded for construction recently and is on pace to be one of our first schools purpose-built to facilitate a 21st century educational delivery. There will be many more to follow.

New Construction and Renovations

DoDEA opened the doors for students at the new Irwin Intermediate School on Fort Bragg, NC after a complete replacement of its facilities. The pace of the DoDEA Military Construction has increased dramatically over the past year. DoDEA currently has 49 projects in design and 8 projects in construction. During the last year DoDEA has initiated 40 school designs and made five school construction awards. In the upcoming calendar year, DoDEA anticipates an additional 21 designs and 13 construction awards.


TEACHER HELPING STUDENTDoDEA recognizes that competence in STEM, especially in science and mathematics, gained in grades K–12, forms the foundation of an educated, capable, and technical future workforce. Likewise, careers in STEM fields contribute greatly to the nation’s capacity for innovation and are among the fastest-growing and highest-paying careers in the economy, therefore it is vital that we engage and prepare students in STEM education as well as excite them about career opportunities in STEM.

DoDEA’ s main goal for STEM education is to increase the number of students -- particularly those from traditionally underrepresented groups -- who are prepared for post-secondary studies and careers in STEM. To accomplish this goal, DoDEA is taking several steps; last school year we piloted four Career Technical Education (CTE) engineering applications courses- Biotechnology Engineering, Gaming Technology Engineering, Green Technology Engineering, and Robotics.

This year, DoDEA has expanded these CTE offerings in STEM coursework to nine more schools: Daegu High school, Daegu, South Korea; Kadena High School, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan; Zama American High School, Camp Zama, Japan; LeJeune High School, Camp LeJeune, North Carolina; AFNorth Unit School, The Netherlands; Incirlik Middle/High School, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey: Vilsek High School, Vilsek, Germany: Kaiserslautern High School, Kaiserslautern, Germany; and Naples Middle School/High School, Naples, Italy.

These efforts are only one prong of DoDEA’s multifaceted approach to advance STEM education. Mathematics and science are essential parts of the foundational knowledge that all students need to acquire, and a solid knowledge base in these areas enables students to succeed in high school and careers.

Because math should be a gateway, not a gatekeeper, to a successful college education or career, we will ramp up efforts to increase student proficiency in mathematics by increasing graduation requirements for mathematics and adding four new courses (Algebraic modeling, Advanced Functions, Financial Literacy, and Engineering Applications).

In addition, we will expand efforts to support an effective STEM-focused approach to existing curricular resources in grades 9-12. This includes the purchase of new textbooks and resources for all high school science courses and replenishing and purchasing materials and equipment for the CTE engineering applications courses.

As we look outward to the future, technology provides the means to expand learning beyond text-based facts. Technology can help students understand hard to gasp concepts in all subject areas, particularly in mathematics and science.

To learn more, please visit the STEM website.

1:1 Laptops

The role of computers in education has evolved into a versatile tool that helps students learn at school and outside of school, thus enabling smarter learning. For that reason, ten secondary schools began DoDEA’s one-to-one (1:1) laptop initiative in the second semester of school year 2011-2012. Four more schools in the Pacific -- where sufficient bandwidth and wireless density is available -- will be joining the initial pilot schools. The laptop program is geared toward providing students and teachers with access to contemporary materials required for college and career readiness.

Additionally, students will have access to emerging digital curricular materials and teachers will have access to professional development geared toward lesson design, digital citizenship, and classroom management. We understand the importance of providing teachers with professional development. Professional development is crucial to any implementation; therefore, professional development options based on the needs of teachers, whether site-based or job-embedded, will be provided. The lessons learned from the pilot will help immensely in planning for a larger roll-out to secondary schools around the system.