Friday, October 17, 2008

What are 21st Century Skills?

There is a lot of talk about 21st century skills, but what exactly is meant by that? What are the specific skills that students need to be learning?

Here is my representration of the 21st Century Skills framework developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (click image for a larger view).

Traditional core subjects such as math and science still form the base of the 21st century skill set. However, additional important 21st century themes such as global awareness and entrepreneurial literacy are added to these core subjects.

As much as students need to learn academic content, they also need to know how to keep learning — and make effective and innovative use of what they know — throughout their lives. This is where the additional skills such as creativity, innovation, media and technology literacy, communication and problem-solving become important. These skills should be taught in the approach to all academic subjects.

Finally, there are life skills which need to be incorporated more broadly across the school's curriculum such as personal responsibility, ethics, self-direction and adaptability. These skills are important to life-long success in today's world.

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Books on my reading list

  • A Whole New Mind
  • Designing the Sustainable School
  • Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning & Creativity
  • Digital Storytelling: A Creator's Guide to Interactive Entertainment
  • How to Grow a School
  • No Homework & Recess All Day
  • The World is Flat