21st Century Skills

Ken Kay’s keynote on 21st Century Skills overlapped with several sessions we attended at the CASB convention. The highlight was a panel discussion with high school students. They were outstanding.

I have included below content from some of Mr. Kay’s more interesting slides. You can explore more about his work on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills home page and the section of the website that details 21st Century Skills.

A few points he made I think are worth reinforcing. Mr. Kay said that to help shift education to include 21st Century Skills will require “massive investments” in professional development and assessments that account for more than a few core subjects. In a separate session, a superintendent who is piloting an innovative 21st Century Skills curriculum says that we need to rethink time and education. Preparing children with 21st century skills and core content knowledge takes more time.

These points resonate with things I’ve been learning. We need to innovate. We need to invest in professional development at a new scale. And, we need to rethink time – some students need much more.

From the slides:

What’s New about 21st Century Skills

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving for EVERYONE (not just a few)

Life & Career Skills for EVERYONE

Innovation and Creativity Skills (not emphasized in the past)

Information, Media and Technology Skills (less necessary in the past)


Based on a Partnership for 21st Century Skills, et. al. survey…

Skills Employers Consider Most Important for Job Success

Work Ethic                80%

Collaboration                75%

Good Communication            70%

Social Responsibility            63%

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving    58%

Of High School Students Recently Hired, What Were Their Deficiencies

Written Communication        81%

Leadership                73%

Work Ethic                70%

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving    70%

Self-Direction                58%

What Skills and Content Areas Will Grow in Importance in Next Five Years

Critical Thinking                78%

Information Technology        77%

Health & Wellness            76%

Collaboration                74%

Innovation                74%

Personal Financial Responsibility    72%


Every student in Colorado must be:

  • A critical thinker
  • A problem solver
  • An innovator
  • An effective communicator
  • An effective collaborator
  • A self-directed learner
  • Information and media literate
  • Globally aware
  • Civically engaged
  • Financially and economically literate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: