What are 21st Century Learning Skills?

The shift from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Age has compelled us to equip ourselves with new competencies and skills indispensable in today's globalized economy. With the advent of technology, it is imperative to bring about a change in pedagogy patterns shifting from traditional textbook based learning to adaptive 21st Century learning. Some of the key skills necessary for the quintessential 21st Century learner include:

  • Interdisciplinary themes consisting of Global Citizenship, Civic Literacy, Health Literacy, Environmental Literacy.
  • Learning and Innovation Skills consisting of Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Communication and Collaboration.
  • Information, Media and Technology Skills consisting of Information Literacy, Media Literacy, ICT Literacy.
  • Life and Career Skills consisting of Social & Emotional Learning, Leadership & Responsibility.

Some of the key elements required to support the spread of 21st century skills are

  • 21st Century Standards for content knowledge, interdisciplinary themes, deep understanding of issues rather than mere shallow knowledge, solving real world problems instead of bookish exercises.
  • Balanced formative and summative assessment systems which can demonstrate the degree of 21st century skills to educators and employers & methods to assess the efficacy of the education system in reaching increasing levels of student competencies in 21st century skills.
  • A curriculum which promotes competency based approach to learning, innovative learning methods and which teaches 21st century skills in the context of core subjects and interdisciplinary themes.
  • Professional Development courses for educators.
  • A supportive learning environment comprising of professional learning communities, collaboration among educators, integrate 21st century skills into classroom practice and which is conducive to group, team and individual learning.