An Epistemic Shift: A Literacy of Adaptivity as Critical for Twenty-First Century Learning

Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)


Many so-called twenty-first century literacies are not new; it is only that they are particularly germane to our present times. Dispositions and skills such as collaboration and media literacy are more critical now than ever, because of the degree of inter-connectedness potentially afforded to social beings. Due to the near-immediate feedback which arises from membership of social networks, decisions made at the individual level have – now more than ever – potential social consequences which impact upon the collective whole. Understandings of inter-connectedness should therefore extend beyond the rhetoric of Web 2.0 social networking as a communicative-medium, to conversations around rapid iterative cycles, and real-time situated metacognition (thinking about one’s thinking) as a result of both the potential reach and impact of the decision-making process afforded by games and other forms of digital and social media. In this chapter we outline the need for an epistemic shift in thinking about what it means to foster twenty-first century soft -skills and literacies. While in the past, instructional paradigms in which content knowledge is taught to students were generally adopted, we argue that soft-skills are less ‘taught’ than ‘caught’. The epistemic shift in thinking that we call for is consistent with social-constructivist notions rather than objectivist views of knowing. The participatory metaphor of learning advocated by social-constructivism posits that knowing is a process in which learners participate in activities and interactions through which learning and knowledge are constructed (Hung D, Chen D-T. Educ Media Int 38(1):3–12, 2001).


Social Medium Design Thinking Curricular Unit Fictive World Adaptive Expertise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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