US Visit 4 – Partnership for 21st Century Skills

21st Century Skills

We came across the updated Framework for 21st Century Learning when we were in the US.  Nine of States have live projects exploring the model and there seems to be a growing movement of educationalists, politicians and employers happy to sign-up to what amounts to a radical departure from normal practice in US schools.


The mission statement (see below) makes for interesting reading. Need to explore it much further to see how it compares with the rationale for Curriculum for Excellence. One thing for sure is that even in the US there is a recognition that a curriculum designed for an industrial age falls short of what our young people will need to thrive in the 21st Century.

Serve as a catalyst to position 21st century skills at the center of US K-12 education by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community and government leaders

Every child in America needs 21st century knowledge and skills to succeed as effective citizens, workers and leaders in the 21st century.

There is a profound gap between the knowledge and skills most students learn in school and the knowledge and skills they need in typical 21st century communities and workplaces.

To successfully face rigorous higher education coursework, career challenges and a globally competitive workforce, U.S. schools must align classroom environments with real world environments by infusing 21st century skills.

This skills set includes:

  • Information and communication skills (information and media literacy skills; communication skills)
  • Thinking and problem-solving (critical thinking and systems thinking; problem identification, formulation and solution; creativity and intellectual curiosity)
  • Interpersonal and self-direction skills (interpersonal and collaborative skills; self-direction; accountability and adaptability; social responsibility)
  • Global awareness
  • Financial, economic and business literacy, and developing entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options
  • Civic literacy

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