Teaching and Learning 21st Century Skills

Lessons from the Learning Sciences

Published in: Teaching and Learning 21st Century Skills: Lessons From the Learning Sciences (New York : Asia Society, Apr. 2012), 35 p

Posted on RAND.org on April 01, 2012

by Anna Rosefsky Saavedra, V. Darleen Opfer

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We briefly summarize current efforts to define 21st century skills and explain the economic, civic, and global rationales for why they are important. We attend to the criticisms leveled against 21st century skills by examining why these skills must be taught primarily through disciplinary content, taking care not to "trivialize subject matter," and then identifying specific ways to do so. The majority of the paper thus focuses on explaining how these skills should be taught, given what we know about how students learn. We then discuss the assessment of 21st century skills and conclude with an overview of the teacher capacity implications of institutionalizing "new" teaching and learning processes.

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