What Are 21st Century Skills?
21st century skills are the knowledge, life skills, professional skills, habits, and attributes that are vital to student success in today’s environment, particularly as students’ progress to college, the workforce, and adulthood.
The Importance of 21st Century Skills
While the bar used to be high school graduation, the bar for today’s students is now college, career, and real-world success. Let’s take a look at why 21st Century skills matter.
- Soft skills are cited as the most essential driver of success in higher-level courses and in the workplace by higher education and business executives.
- In today’s world, our schools are preparing students for jobs that might not yet exist. Career readiness means equipping students with a nuanced set of skills that can prepare them for the unknown.
- Social media has altered human contact and introduced new difficulties in navigating social situations.
- The Internet has significantly enhanced access to knowledge. Students must learn to process and analyse vast amounts of data.
- Content knowledge from core subjects can only go so far; students need to be taught how to apply facts and ideas towards complex problems.
This popular framework was designed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21). The framework combines topic knowledge, particular skills, expertise, and literacies to describe the skills, knowledge, and expertise students must master to excel in business and life. P21 argues that the acquisition of core academic subject knowledge is the “foundation” of 21st Century learning and that schools must build on that base with additional skills such as Learning Skills, Life Skills, and Literacy Skills.
- Learning Skills:
Also known as the “four Cs” of 21st Century learning, these include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
- Life Skills:
Flexibility, initiative, social skills, productivity, leadership
- Literacy Skills:
Information literacy, media literacy, technology literacy
21st Century Learning Strategies & Implementation
- Build staff capacity to demonstrate 21st century skills in support of student learning.
- Develop strategies to support teachers with the implementation of 21st century skills.
- Assess students’ 21st century learning skills.
- Equip educators with data to proactively identify and support students who are off track.
Take a look at our infographic below which takes a further look into “Skill Demands In The 21st Century”.