21st Century Skills

Everybody is talking about 21st Century Skills these days. These skills are important for academic and work life. They are even more important for navigating through the challenges of everyday life. 

Skill Development Matters

Many organizations worldwide are studying  how quality education equals a strong economy.  Organizations such as UNESCO have come to an agreement on the most important skills that will be needed as we move into the future. Some of the main skills are:

Collaborative learning

Collaborative problem-solving

Non-routine cognitive abilities

Flexibility in learning new things

Learning to know, do, be, and live together (UNESCO)

Traditional Skills: communication, foreign languages, digital skills, math, science

Horizontal Skills: learning to learn, social and civic responsibility, initiative and entrepreneurship, cultural awareness, and creativity

The 4 C's: critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration

Curiosity, initiative, perseverance, grit, ethics, adaptability, leadership, and social and cultural awareness

Independent learning

Respect, responsibility, integrity, care, resilience, and harmony

These are just a few of the skills that organizations such as UNECSO have compiled. 

One of the main skills is related to collaborative problem-solving. This means individuals working together using their strengths in order to attempt to find solutions to problems.

In my teaching, training, and coaching, I try to have realistic goals in relation to training people in skill building. We must take innate character and personality into consideration along with environment, culture, and mindset. We do not want to try to force all people to become copies of one another. It is important that individuals develop and maintain their unique qualities, build new 21st century skills that complement their current skills, and are trained in growth mindset to be able to feel they can adapt and acquire new skills as needed to function in a collaborative environment.