Inventing your future
so you can invent the Future
21st Century Skills
21st Century Skills, Soft Skills, PWR (Postsecondary Workforce Readiness) Skills are all attempts to extend student expertise beyond traditional academic goals (that were the same in 1965...)
These new targets are just as intellectually challenging--and colleges and employers find them lacking in the preparation of today's student for the exponentially-accelerated journey to the future.
Many parents say "My teen is brilliant. He/she can master these skills any time." But professors and employers say the "I'm bossy because I have better ideas" leadership of some smart young people is not leadership, communication, or collaboration needed in an agile work environment. Mastering a school- or parent- made schedule is not initiative and planning ability. Many smart teens drop out because they have no self-effacy skills.
Students are getting patents in high school but it's the CTE kids and not the AP kids. This is not about destroying a traditional academic education, which is a laudable accomplishment. It is about tweeking the program to accelerate innovation earlier, necessary for college and career success we are not currently seeing.
Photo by Bradley Hook from Pexels
A student-centered approach to high school, academic and career planning is the direction national, state and local departments of education working with higher education and industry and business to solve the employee shortage in high-paid growth jobs.
The world of college leading to a lifetime job is in the past. The Technology Age is a gig economy (contract work, like a musician playing a different bar weekly), agile structure within companies to keep up with fast changing innovation, and a lifetime of learning targeted to innovate.
The 'pre-med' high schooler would do better in a medical career course, shadowing doctors, doing rounds, than an AP class in history. Or the coder can start with Lockheed Martin's drone program in the VR department in high school and keep upskilling for that degree (if that bachelor's is the goal.) The coder getting the Bachelors risks not getting the job. It is a different world. 21st Century skills are a starting point.
Below are how departments of education, think tanks and industry see 21st Century Skills.
21st Century Targets
21st Century Skills
This image courtesy of EnterraSolutions captures on view of 21st Century Skills. Click for large image
New K-12 Strategies
Click above for extensive milestone checklist for mastery at K-12 grade levels