21st Century Skills#

This is a bit of a buzzword in educational circles, and indeed those of us who remember the last century note that these skills were mostly just as important back then. Regardless, these are a set of cross-cutting skills that have consistently been identified as most important by employers in the knowledge economy, and as fundamental to innovation and productivity. Many of these are taught in university courses, although often implicitly, rather than being identified as core learning outcomes. In this class, many of them are core learning outcomes.

There are many definitions of 21st century skills. A very broad one, promoted by the Organization for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) highlights a set of cognitive skills, intra-personal skills, interpersonal skills, and technical skills (Ananiadou & Claro, 2009). More concretely, Binkley and colleagues Binkley, Erstad, Herman, Raizen, Ripley, Miller-Ricci, and Rumble [BEH+12] articulate the KSAVE model (knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and ethics), which they break down as follows:

Ways of Thinking#

  • creativity and innovation

  • critical thinking, problem solving, decision making

  • learning to learn, metacognition

Ways of Working#

  • communication

  • collaboration

Tools for Working#

  • information literacy

  • information and communication technology literacy

Living in the World#

  • citizenship (local & global)

  • life & career

  • personal & social responsibility, cultural awareness & competence