21st Century Skills

21st Century Tube

21st Century Skills: Expertise needed to succeed in the real world

Education researchers and America's corporate leaders agree: in order for our students to be successful in our changing world, they must master 21st Century skills, not just content.

In the past when the focus of industry was the assembly line, American educators successfully prepared students for their futures through memorization and regurgitation of information. Now companies want more.

“Business leaders tell us that they need people who are critical thinkers, who can truly collaborate with other people, who can work to solve problems together and create and innovate in ways that maybe we haven't even thought of yet. These are tools that will help support our students for whatever the future may hold,” explained DCSD Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Kara Tidemann.

Inspired by the research and work of Tony Wagner, Yong Zhao, Marc Prensky, Jay McTighe, Grant Wiggins, Jim Collins, Stephen Covey, Peter Senge, Carole Miller Lieber, Willard Daggett, Todd Whitaker, Annie E. Casey Foundation, OECD, ATC21s, Mark Tucker, Norm Augustine, Michael Fullan, Ken Kay, Howard Gardner and many others, we built a high-level plan for change - a plan that sets the stage for change based on the convergence of literature and research; a plan that empowers great teachers and leaders to reinvent American education for our students.

For this reason, the Douglas County School District has adopted the following list of 21st Century Skills, which can be incorporated in lessons, depending on their relevance to the topic.

21st Century Skills

  • Global Awareness
  • Financial Literacy
  • Problem Solving
  • Health/Wellness
  • Resiliency
  • Civic Responsibility
  • System Thinking