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21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times

ISBN: 978-1-118-15706-0
256 pages
February 2012, Jossey-Bass
21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times (1118157060) cover image
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.

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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

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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.

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21st Century SkillsLearn more about the concepts in this book; how to contact the authors; endorsers, resources, and school video descriptions and links.
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