It is very important that students are prepared for this globally expanding and competitive world. To be successful, students must possess and be able to demonstrate 21 st century skills. These 21 st century skills include:
Information and Communication Technology Literacy
Critical Thinking/ Problem Solving
English, mathematics, social studies, and science use to make up the educational landscape, but the world has changed so much that the educational focus has had to change. “NCLB defines core subjects as English, reading or language arts; mathematics; science; foreign languages; civics; government; economics; arts; history; and geography. This expanded list more accurately reflects the demands of 21 st century workplaces and communities. For example, in a global economy, a foreign language, economics and geography are the “new basics” for functioning effectively” (Partnership for 21 st Century Skills).
It is important for students to possess the skills listed above, as well as a relevant and rigorous academic background. Students will be assessed on these learning outcomes throughout their high school careers and will demonstrate proficiency in the use of 21 st century skills so that they may be highly competent and skilled students, workers, and citizens.
1. Information and Communication Technology Literacy
Computer skills, technical knowledge, ability to learn and adapt to new technologies and application of those technologies while gaining and utilizing 21 st century skills.
2. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Arguably some of the most important skills for which we advocate, critical thinking and problem solving skills require the ability to:
- Exercise sound reasoning in understanding
- Make complex choices
- Understand the interconnections among systems
- Frame, analyze and solve problems
Students need to be proficient in written, oral, and technological communication. This includes masterful writing, effective oral communication skills, and the ability to utilize many different forms of media to collect, manage, evaluate and disseminate information.
Students need to possess the necessary skill(s) that allows for optimum team performance. Mastering collaboration skills requires the ability to:
- Work effectively with diverse teams
- Be helpful and make necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal
5. Global Awareness
Global Awareness means that students are able to:
Use 21 st century skills to understand and address global issues to
Learn from and work collaboratively with individuals representing diverse cultures, religions and lifestyles in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue in personal, work and community context.
Utilize non-English languages as a tool for understanding other nations and cultures
Students are able to:
- Know how to make appropriate personal economic choices
- Being an informed citizen in order to participate effectively in government
- Exercising the rights and obligations of citizenship at local, state, national and global levels
- Acting responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind; demonstrating ethical behavior in personal, workplace and community contexts.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that is free of stress is an issue of utmost importance. If health and stress is managed properly, one may lead long, healthy, and happy lives. Self Management is a very important piece to focus on as students will be involved in many activities and a rigorous academic course load. Self Management will help students to:
- Access health information and services, navigate health institutions and act as an effective advocate to improve health for self, family and/or community.
- Understand preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction.
- Demonstrate understanding of national and international health and safety concerns.
- Manage a rigorous academic schedule with the addition of college courses and internship, and develop a strong work ethic.
- Self Direction: Monitoring one's own understanding and learning needs, locating appropriate resources, transferring learning from one domain to another.
- Accountability and Adaptability: Exercising personal responsibility and flexibility in personal, workplace and community contexts; setting and meeting high standards and goals for one's self and others; tolerating ambiguity.
Material used and adapted from:
(2004). Partnership for 21 st Century Skills. Retrieved May 25, 2007, from Framework Web site: http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/index.php?option=com_content&task = view&id=255&Itemid=121