21st Century Skills

I recently was directed to a website in which I had visited previously. This website, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, has some very valuable content within. One of the first notable items on the page is the graphic, as seen below.This image contains lots of information. It is actually a very usable diagram of how technology, life skills, core curriculum interact with the school environment and opportunities that that environment provides. It really demonstrates the importance of the core content and curriculum, but also demonstrates the importance of all aspects of the learning environment as well as specific content.

The mission of the group is: “To serve as a catalyst to position 21st century readiness at the center of US K12 education by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community and government leaders.” In fulfilling this mission, they have developed the 3R’s and the 4C’s. The three R’s include reading, writing, and arithmetic, with many other subjects falling under this umbrella. The four C’s outline specific skills: critical thinking and problem solving; communication, collaboration; and creativity and innovation.

This site is full of useful information. A very useable document for the state of Montana would be the MILE Guide for 21st Century Skills. This document could be a very useful document to schools and districts who are developing and writing or rewriting their Technology Plans which allows schools and districts to apply for Title II Part D funding. Not only does this document provide a guide to point schools and districts to resources when developing a plan, but also provides a self assessment portion that allows teachers to personally reflect upon their practice in regards to technology integration in the classroom.

The content of this site is very well thought out and even could be considered ground breaking. But it seems to end there. Without more information, how are educators going to fuse these topics and information together in their classrooms? Sure there is a professional development section on the site, but there should be a framework, or examples lesson plans to demonstrate how a teacher is to effectively fuse these ideas together.

I really like the graphic, and I am going to spend more time looking through the MILE guide as well.


~ by Dean Phillips on September 29, 2010.

3 Responses to “21st Century Skills”

  1. I love the new 4 r’s, the old ones definitely needed a revamping. Do you feel like we are doing everything possible in education to revamp the entire system? I know the website mentions that it will work together with education, business, government, and the community to improve our 21st century skills, but do you see that happening? In NJ, I don’t. I see our government ripping apart education instead of finding a way to build it up.

    • Jillian, I think education is being pulled in too many different directions. I recently went to a school to provide some PD in technology, and teachers are very frustrated and beginning to become burnt out. They are expected to implement and participate in training in RTI, MBI etc…Schools need to be consistent with their vision…trying to do everything all at once doesn’t seem to be working very well.

  2. I really like the graphic as well. It was one of main things I liked about the website as well as the way we could be teaching our students for the 21st century.

    I couldn’t agree more that there should be some example lesson plans for teachers to use one the site. To get the total feel for this way of teaching, I agree we should have some plans laid out for teachers to use to fully understand it. Hopefully they’ll update their site soon so we can start putting their methods in action into our own classrooms.

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