The Shifting thinking community

This is a project set up by a group of people within the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. You can see more about us on the Contacts page.  This team thinks deeply about education in the 21st century. We aim to explore the shift to 21st century thinking and learning by connecting theory with educational practice from the perspectives of people involved in the educational profession around the world.

Our intention is to help educators build a bridge between 20th century theories and practices, and 21st century theories and practices. This website is a space for theory and practice to interact, for theory to inform practice, and practice to inform theory. We aim to support educators to talk about 21st century education, and to equip them with some analytical tools (articles, thinking objects) for doing so. The distinction we draw between 20th and 21st century thinking is based on theoretical debates happening across disciplinary areas, related to complexity, uncertainty, and diversity, as well as shifts in the understanding of knowledge, power, and language. We acknowledge that in drawing those kinds of distinction, we run the risk of oversimplification–of reducing complexity and of fixing boundaries that are always contested and much less clear cut than what is presented here. We think it’s worth the risk in order to stimulate the thinking.

We want shiftingthinking to be a place where you will find interesting, lively, and intelligent discussions that are grounded in the purpose of developing and exploring theory about 21st century learning and education. Please read our guidelines and disclaimer statements below.

Community guidelines

These set out our intent and way of operating. We expect participants on shiftingthinking to respect and adhere to these guidelines.

  • We are developing our thinking together.  The ideas on this site are works in progress, and will grow and change over time. The content on shiftingthinking should be viewed in this context.
  • Shiftingthinking is a respectful environment. Please don’t post any images or comments that other users will find offensive or threatening. We reserve the right to edit or delete postings, comments, or images that attack or malign any individual, group, or organisation.
  • Shiftingthinking is interested in your ideas. You don’t have to use your own name when making comments but do not impersonate any other person or organisation.
  • Shiftingthinking aims to be non-partisan and is not intended as a forum for political views.There are plenty of other sites for this. We reserve the right to edit or delete content that promotes or attacks any political party.
  • Shiftingthinking is Web 2.0, not a print resource. If you are interested in the ideas on this site, we’d love you to join us in discussing these here. However, if you choose to cite any of the content on this site elsewhere, please be sure to acknowledge where it’s come from.
  • Keep it legal. Please do not post anything that breaches copyright, or makes libellous or defamatory statements.


Views or opinions expressed in posts or comments on shiftingthinking are the responsibility of their authors. Their publication via this site should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind by The New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

The shiftingthinking team reserves the right to moderate material posted on this website and may delete or edit material if it does not adhere to our community guidelines, and/or if some or all of the following are deemed evident: offensive, malicious or defamatory statements or material; material that may compromise the rights of another individual under the Privacy Act 1993; or material that may breach the copyright of another individual or organisation.

The shiftingthinking team and NZCER do not accept any liability for the accuracy or content of information on this website belonging to third parties, nor for the accuracy or content of any third-party website that you may access via a hyperlink from this website. Links to other websites from this website should not be taken as endorsement of those sites or of products offered on those sites. When visiting other websites, please refer to the conditions of use and copyright policies of those sites.

Last updated 12 August 2009.

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