Evaluating 21st Century Skills

In my exploration of Partnerships for 21st Century Skills website, I was excited to see that a partnership has been created with businesses, communities, government leaders, and educators to develop an understanding of the importance of 21st-century skills in the classroom.  I think this website is a great resource for educators to learn from other educators about how they are teaching 21st century skills in their classrooms.  The shared resources provide important information about how other schools have improved student performance by incorporating 21st-century skills.  The blog also offers information necessary to educators who are interested in creating a 21st-century learning environment.

Something on the site that surprised me was that the state of Utah is not currently a P21 partner or leader.  When I discovered the existence of the 21st Century Readiness Act, I felt like this was something that should require the involvement of all states.  This Act recognizes the importance of instruction that produces knowledge and skills beyond reading, writing, and math by incorporating critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration to prepare students for college and careers (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, n.d.b).  The incorporation of technology into classroom learning can help to promote these skills beyond the core subjects.  Students without access to technology in their learning are left on the sidelines in a 21st century society, and this makes becoming a P21 partner a priority to every state (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, n.d.a).  The application to become a partner is free and is something I am interested in looking into further.

One thing I disagree with that the website’s mission implies is that fusing the 3Rs and the 4Cs will promote success for students in their futures.  The 3Rs include reading, writing, and arithmetic, and the 4Cs include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, n.d.b).  I disagree with fusing as the only method of student academic success because I believe that the 3Rs and 4Cs are only effective in supporting student achievement if they incorporate meaningful learning experiences.  Teachers can establish meaningful 21st century learning experiences by providing relevant content, connecting learning to real-world experiences, and promoting interactions with others (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, n.d.a).  Teachers can create meaningful learning experiences by integrating technology into their instruction.

The implication of educating in a contemporary classroom is that I will have the knowledge to teach students using 21st-century skills that are imperative for their success.  I can do this by building on the core subjects I already teach with the implementation of technology and project-based learning.  “Core academic subjects remain the foundation of good education” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, n.d.a).  By incorporating technology into my instruction of the core subjects, I will create an environment that supports the 3Rs and 4Cs in learning content to promote academic achievement.  The implication for my students is that they are more prepared for successful futures in a 21st century society.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.a). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/P21_Report.pdf

Partnership for 21st Century Skills.  (n.d.b).  Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/index.php

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2 thoughts on “Evaluating 21st Century Skills

  1. Stephanie,

    I too like the idea of incorporating 21st century skills into all schools in all states. Requiring involvement in something like this can be tricky though, because education is the state’s responsibility, not that of the federal government. Miners and Pascopella (2007), bring up the point that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) includes requirements for students to become “technologically literate” (p. 28). However, since there is no definition for what “technologically literate”means in NCLB, maybe P21 could be a good starting pointing for states who are trying to fulfill that part of the mandate (Miners & Pascopella, 2007, p. 28).

    Tim

    Reference

    Miners, Z., & Pascopella, A. (2007). The new literacies. District Administration, 43(10), 26–34. Retrieved from http://class.waldenu.edu

    Like

    • Timothy,

      I agree that incorporating 21st century skills into all school and states can be tricky. I think P21 is a great resource to get states and schools who are interested started for now.

      Stephanie

      Like

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