21st Century SkillsLearning for Life in Our Times
The new building blocks for learning in a complex world This important resource introduces a framework for 21st Century learning that maps out the skills needed to survive and thrive in a complex and connected world. 21st Century content includes the basic core subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic-but also emphasizes global awareness, financial/economic literacy, and health issues. The skills fall into three categories: learning and innovations skills; digital literacy skills; and life and career skills. This book is filled with vignettes, international examples, and classroom samples that help illustrate the framework and provide an exciting view of twenty-first century teaching and learning. Explores the three main categories of 21st Century Skills: learning and innovations skills; digital literacy skills; and life and career skills Addresses timely issues such as the rapid advance of technology and increased economic competition Based on a framework developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) The book contains a DVD with video clips of classroom teaching. For more information on the book visit www.21stcenturyskillsbook.com.
Figures and Tables xi Foreword to the Paperback Edition xiii The Authors xxi Prologue: The Search for Innovative Learning xxv Introduction: Learning to Innovate, Innovating Learning xxix The Four Question Exercise xxx About This Book xxxiv A Map of the Book xxxv Part One: What Is 21st Century Learning? 1 Learning Past and Future 3 Learning a Living: The Future of Work and Careers 7 Learning Through Time 11 2 The Perfect Learning Storm: Four Converging Forces 21 Knowledge Work 24 Thinking Tools 25 Digital Lifestyles 27 Learning Research 30 The Forces of Resistance 35 The Turning of Learning: Toward a New Balance 36 The Top 21st Century Challenge 40 Part Two: What Are 21st Century Skills? 3 Learning and Innovation Skills: Learning to Create Together 45 The Knowledge-and-Skills Rainbow 47 Learning to Learn and Innovate 49 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving 50 Communication and Collaboration 54 Creativity and Innovation 56 4 Digital Literacy Skills: Info-Savvy, Media-Fluent, Tech-Tuned 61 Information Literacy 65 Media Literacy 67 ICT Literacy 68 5 Career and Life Skills: Work-Ready, Prepared for Life 73 Flexibility and Adaptability 75 Initiative and Self-Direction 77 Social and Cross-Cultural Interaction 80 Productivity and Accountability 82 Leadership and Responsibility 84 Part Three: 21st Century Learning in Practice 6 21st Century Learning and Teaching 89 Learning P’s and Q’s: Problems and Questions 90 Roads to Answers and Solutions: Science and Engineering 91 7 Powerful Learning: Proven Practices, Researched Results 95 The 21st Century Project Learning Bicycle 96 Creativity Through Projects 104 Evidence That Project Learning Works 107 Obstacles to Collaborative Inquiry and Design Learning 114 8 Retooling Schooling: Reshaping Support Systems 117 Shifting Systems in Sync 120 Support Systems 125 From Skills to Expertise: Future Learning Frameworks 145 9 Conclusion: Learning for Life—Building a Better World 151 Appendix A Resources 159 21st Century Skills Example Videos DVD 159 Resources from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills 161 Selected Online Resources 162 Appendix B About the Partnership for 21st Century Skills 167 What Is P21? 167 What Does P21 Do? 168 How the P21 Learning Framework Came into Being 170 Appendix C 3Rs x7Cs = 21st Century Learning 175 Acknowledgments 179 Notes 183 References 187 Credits 197 How to Use the DVD 199 Index 201
Bernie Trilling is the founder and CEO of 21st Century Learning Advisors and former global director for the Oracle Education Foundation. He was the Foundation's board member at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Charles Fadel is a global education thought leader and expert, author, and inventor. He is a former board member at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Change the Equation.
The world has undergone foundational shifts in recent decades—widespread advances in technology and communications, booming economic developments and increased competition, and the escalation of global challenges from financial meltdowns to global warming. How can we prepare students to meet the challenges of our century if our schools remain virtually unchanged? This essential resource introduces a framework for 21st century learning that maps out the skills needed to survive and thrive in a complex and connected world. A 21st century education includes knowledge of traditional core subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic—but also emphasizes contemporary themes such as global awareness and financial/economic, health, and environmental literacies. Students in 21st century schools will apply their knowledge to understanding and solving real-world challenges using their 21st century skills: Learning and Innovation Skills: Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, and Communication and Collaboration Digital Literacy Skills: Information Literacy, Media Literacy, and ICT Literacy Career and Life Skills: Flexibility and Adaptability, Initiative and Self-Direction, Social and Cross-Cultural Skills, Productivity and Accountability, Leadership and Responsibility The book is filled with classroom vignettes, global examples, schoolwork samples, and includes a DVD with video mini-documentaries of innovative practices that bring the skills to life and offer an exciting view of what teaching and learning can and will look like as we transform learning to meet the demands of the 21st century.
Praise for 21st Century Skills "Trilling and Fadel describe in very readable, practical terms how to infuse 21st century skills from standards all the way into the classroom. The DVD is full of wonderful 'a-ha' moments to illustrate the possibilities. A terrific traveling companion for educators, parents, and business and government decision makers concerned about the future of our kids." —Paige Johnson, 2009 Chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills; Global K–12 Manager, Intel Corporation "Hooray to Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel for demystifying 21st century skills. Thisbook makes clear why education must change: to help prepare students to meet complex challenges, fulfill their civic responsibilities, and live fulfilling lives. Full of crisp descriptions, 21st Century Skills persuasively shows why policymakers and educators should run—not walk—to implement 21st century learning designs. As Trilling and Fadel simply put it, it's time to give all students the chance to learn how to build a better world."—John Wilson, executive director, National Education Association "Trilling and Fadel lay out a comprehensive understanding of what is meant by 21st century skills. Read this book with a note pad—you'll be jotting down ideas for how to use the information in your school district. A must-read for superintendents, curriculum directors, and teachers." —Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association "Trilling and Fadel take the 21st century skills debate beyond rhetoric, providing a substantive, compelling, and engaging argument for the skills and competencies that our children need to succeed in a Knowledge Age economy. The skills they describe are the essential lifeblood of a productive, engaged, and intelligent citizenry—this book is a must-read for skeptics and enthusiasts alike!"—Margaret Honey, president and CEO, New York Hall of Science
Praise for 21st Century Skills "The authors have done nothing less than provide a bold framework for designing a 21st century approach to education, an approach aimed at preparing all of our children to successfully meet the challenges of this brave, new world."—Paul Reville, secretary of education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; former director of the Education Policy and Management Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education "Trilling and Fadel describe in very readable, practical terms how to infuse 21st Century skills from standards all the way into the classroom. The DVD is full of wonderful ‘a-ha’ moments to illustrate the possibilities. A terrific traveling companion for educators, parents, and business and government decision-makers concerned about the future of our kids."—Paige Johnson, 2009 chair, Partnership for 21st Century Skills; Global K-12 Manager, Intel Corporation "It’s about time that we have such an accessible and wise book about the 21st century skills that so many companies, policymakers, and educators are talking about. Trilling and Fadel distill insights from diverse communities of reflective inquiry on what redesigns of learning environments are needed to foster these skills, and provide path-finding tools for the exciting expeditions into the future of learning." —Roy Pea, professor, Education and the Learning Sciences, Stanford University "Trilling and Fadel lay out a comprehensive understanding of what is meant by 21st century skills. Read this book with a note pad—you’ll be jotting down ideas for how to use the information in your school district. A must read for superintendents, curriculum directors, and teachers." —Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association "Trilling and Fadel take the 21st Century skills debate beyond rhetoric, providing a substantive, compelling, and engaging argument for the skills and competencies that our children need to succeed in a knowledge age economy. The skills they describe are the essential life-blood of a productive, engaged, and intelligent citizenry – this book is a must-read for skeptics and enthusiasts alike!" —Margaret Honey, president and CEO, New York Hall of Science “Hooray to Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel for demystifying 21st century skills. This book makes clear why education must change: to help prepare students to meet complex challenges, fulfill their civic responsibilities, and live fulfilling lives. Full of crisp descriptions, 21st Century Skills persuasively shows why policymakers and educators should run—not walk—to implement 21st learning designs. As Trilling and Fadel simply put it, it’s time to give all students the chance to learn how to build a better world.” —John Wilson, executive director, National Education Association “With 21st Century Skills, Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel have given us a global ‘search and replace’ for outdated educational thinking. Replace ‘scope and sequence’ with the ‘21st Century Learning Framework,’ the P21 rainbow. Replace ‘models of curriculum and instruction’ with their ‘Project Learning Bicycle.’ And don't miss their ‘Kingdom of Learning, Learnalot,’ one of the most clever educational parables ever told.” —Milton Chen, executive director, The George Lucas Educational Foundation “Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel have written a book that is truly visionary, providing sound insight into education in the 21st century. Their book provides solid, practical advice for educators, policymakers, business leaders and others interested in improving America’s position in the global economy. I recommend it to anyone interested in maximizing classroom effectiveness in this digital age.” —Dr. Steven L. Paine, superintendent of schools, West Virginia “A must read for anyone interested in the United States ability to compete in a global economy. Educators, policy makers, business leaders, parents and students will benefit from the comprehensive information in 21st Century Skills.”—Mary Ann Wolf, executive director, State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) “Working, living and learning in the 21st Century will require an expanded set of skills, competencies and flexibilities. We must prepare for a continuous learning and reskilling process throughout our lives and careers. This is a powerful exploration of what we collectively face as we live the future. A must read!”—Elliott Masie, CEO and Chair, The Learning Consortium “Charles & Bernie’s book cuts to the core challenge facing our country—Is our education system preparing our children with the skills to succeed in a ‘flat’ 21st century world? Much more than a treatise on what is wrong with education, they provide a compelling vision for education as it should be and a roadmap for getting where we need to go.”—Keith R. Krueger, CEO, Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) “This book presents an innovative, comprehensive strategy for evolving education to meet the needs of 21st century society.” —Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate School of Education “21st Century Skills is full of interesting examples illustrating both what work will look like in the years ahead and how thoughtful educators are preparing children to thrive in tomorrow’s workplaces. The richness of the examples reflects the authors’ extensive knowledge of how work is changing in the nation’s most innovative firms and their deep involvement in the efforts to improve America ’s schools.” — Richard J. Murnane, Thompson Professor of Education and Society, Harvard Graduate of Education “Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel have been two of the essential intellects behind the growth of the 21st century skills movement. We have been asked for years to provide an in-depth treatment of the 21st century skills framework. Here it is.” —Ken Kay, executive director, Partnership for 21st Century Skills; CEO, e-Luminate Group "Trilling and Fadel have captured powerful insight into critical 21st century learning skills. Life goes on and so must learning - this book is a must for anyone interested in the future of education."—Allan Weis, former IBM vice president; founder of ThinkQuest and Advanced Network and Services “This is a very informed, insightful, accessible book that will help policy makers, education leaders, teachers, parents—anyone interested in improving education—understand the profound global forces that are reshaping our society and their implications for education reform. 21st Century Skills provides specific recommendations for how we can—indeed must—change the curriculum, teaching, assessment, use of technology and the organization of our schools to better prepare students to be productive, creative citizens and workers in the global society and economy of the 21st century.” —Robert B. Kozma, Ph.D., emeritus director, Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International “Bernie and Charles have presented a well researched and futuristic frame work for changing how we teach and learn for the 21st Century. It will be up to all of us to accept this challenge and move our country and world into and beyond the 21st Century.” —Kathy Hurley, senior vice president, Pearson K-12 Solutions & Pearson Foundation; incoming chairman, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills “This is a well written and referenced roadmap for the complicated and interconnected collection of skills, knowledge and attitudes that are essential for citizens to master in our increasingly complex and rapidly changing technological society.” —John E. Abele, founding chairman of the board, Boston Scientific “Inspirational and motivational, this book is a practical guide to implementing and understanding 21st Century Skills. Every teacher and parent should read it so they can prepare their children and their students to solve the problems of tomorrow, today.”—Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Kurshan, executive director, Curriki “After all the talk about organizing education, this book leads us back to what education is for. 21st Century Skills is a comprehensive and elegant survey of our changing world, the skills it requires, and how those skills can be taught and learned. Here is a blueprint for 21st century schooling.” —Michael Stevenson, vice president global education, Cisco “This book presents an excellent case and roadmap for K-12 schools, for balancing content knowledge delivery with the development of necessary skills for success. It can serve as a valuable guide for parents, educators, and policy makers.” —Ioannis Miaoulis, Ph.D., president and director, Museum of Science, Boston “For anyone who cares about the future of our children and their success in a global economy, 21st Century Skills is required reading.” —Gerald Chertavian, chairman, Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's 21st Century Skills Task Force; founder and CEO, YearUp “Struggling to understand or explain the imperative for 21st century skills in our schools? Begin here.” —Julie A. Walker, executive director, American Association of School Librarians (AASL) “21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in our Times is a necessary and readable articulation of the reality of 21st Century Skills in educating today’s generation of learners. Kudos to the authors for achieving clarity on this timely topic." —Karen Cator, past chair, Partnership for 21st Century Skills “Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel have moved beyond the hype and buzz surrounding ‘21st Century Skills’ —to provide an insightful and commonsense guide to rethink learning & teaching in a world that urgently demands innovative, inventive, self-motivated/self-directed, creative problem-solvers to confront increasingly complex global problems. As they demonstrate in their comprehensive work, by proactively developing learner-centric tools that enhance context, communication, creation and collaboration, we stand a chance of retooling our obsolete industrial-era ‘conveyor belt’ educational system—to produce a flexible, future-ready way to learn and teach in and for the new millennium. The liberating result is sure to benefit not only students in the 21st century, but those to come in the 22nd century and beyond.” —Paul Reynolds, CEO, FableVision
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