Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

photo via
This week I have been looking at the Partnership for 21stCentury Skills website (Partnership for 21st Century Skills). Technology is becoming increasingly interwoven into our daily lives, and this website serves as an excellent website resource. This website user friendly and bridges the world of education to the world of technology seamlessly. The site is inclusive of all subjects, not just the “core subjects”.

I agree with most of the theories presented on this website. However, I believe that it is somewhat unrealistic. The Partnership suggests that teachers participate in more professional development on 21 century skills. In Pennsylvania, professional development credit hours have been suspended- there are no funds for schools to host development speakers. Under this model, teachers are expected to incorporate the 21st century skills into the curriculum. Budgets are being slashed year after year. How can teachers be expected to keep up with technology when the technology provided by the school is outdated? How can life/career skills be taught when vetch programs are being cut? If money was no object, this framework would  surely help boost the 21st century skill. I would like to see some more real life scenarios on this site.

One area I found useful was the skills map for the arts (Partnership for 21st Century Skills). I am always looking for new ways to challenge my student’s critical thinking and citizenship. I will be putting this in my teacher’s toolkit!

Many of the 21st century skills named on this site are similar to the skills learned within the art. I have see these skills highlighted when advocating arts in schools. I believe that these “soft skills” are needed to propel our country’s next generation. These skills focus on teaching students how to think, not what to think. Teachers will be responsible for fostering the thirst for knowledge as opposed to having students memorize facts and dates.

Have you ever see this site? What are your thoughts?


Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from


  1. I've been to the site and it is awesome. I have a hard time believing that 21st century skills will be accessible to every student. Common Core does not mean common dollars to all districts, so if there is no money there can be no technological devices to facilitate this learning. I agree with you art is critical to the development of this country's next generation. Districts can't seem to even provide funding for art programs at much less cost.

  2. There are lofty expectations given to schools with a miniscule budget It seems more is expected of us and our students, but were are getting less! How frustrating!? Students can reach these goals we set for them, but it is much harder without funding.

  3. Jennifer,

    You make a very good point about the lack of funding and resources provided for what the 21st Century Skills website would like to see us educators achieve.
    I do believe strongly that it is important for educators to have the proper tools in order to provide what the students will need. I know as of this moment my school is facing a similar challenge, and is going about trying to get a grant to allow our students iPads. Is this a possibility in your school? Could this be a way to help things move in the correct direction?