I was recently listening to a presentation by one of my students on the topic of implementing a 21st century skill-based instructional philosophy. It was a very thought provoking presentation; one of the most interesting comments was that in order to achieve success, there needs to be “a corporate change of disposition.” How poignant. When we look at examples of 21st century skills we quickly realize that we’re not talking about technology skills – we are talking about job ready skills:
- Information literacy
- Communication (spoken and written)
- Self-Directed and Collaborative Work Ethic
- Problem Solving
- Responsible Citizenship
How we teach and measure these skills is the essence of high quality education. They don’t exist in isolation, and they can’t exist without foundational knowledge and skills in literacy (reading/writing) and numeracy (mathematics). The 3 “R”s are the bedrock while 21st century skills are the authentic application of them.