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21st Century Skills: Will Our Students Be Prepared?
By Judy Salpeter

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21st Century Content




Thinking and problem-solving skills

Critical thinking and systems thinking
Problem identification, formulation, and solution
Creativity and intellectual curiosity
Using problem-solving tools (such as spreadsheets, decision support, and design tools) to manage complexity, solve problems, and think critically, creatively, and systematically.

Information and communication skills
Information and media literacy skills
Communication skills
Using communication, information processing, and research tools (such as word processing, e-mail, groupware, presentation software, and the Internet) to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create, and communicate information.

Interpersonal and self-direction skills
Interpersonal and collaborative skills
Self-direction
Accountability and adaptability
Social responsibility
Using personal development and productivity tools (such as e-learning, time managers, and collaboration tools) to enhance productivity and personal development.

Global awareness
Using 21st century skills to understand and address global issues
Learning from and working collaboratively with individuals representing diverse cultures, religions, and lifestyles in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue in personal, work, and community contexts
Promoting the study of languages other than English as a tool for understanding other nations and cultures
Financial, economic, and business literacy

Knowing how to make appropriate personal economic choices
Understanding the role of the economy and the role of business in the economy
Applying appropriate 21st century skills to function as a productive contributor within an organizational setting
Integrating oneself within and adapting continually to our nation's evolving economic and business environment
Civic literacy

Being an informed citizen to participate effectively in government
Exercising the rights and obligations of citizenship at local, state, national, and global levels
Understanding the local and global implications of civic decisions
Applying 21st century skills to make intelligent choices as a citizen
SOURCE: Learning for the 21st Century


9 Steps to Build Momentum
Embrace a powerful vision of public education that includes 21st century skills.
Align leadership, management, and resources with educational goals.
Use [the MILE Guide] to assess where schools are now.
Develop priorities for 21st century skills.
Develop a professional development plan for 21st century skills.
Make sure students have equitable access to a 21st century education.
Begin developing assessments to measure student progress in 21st century skills.
Collaborate with outside partners.
Plan collectively and strategically for the future.