What Should We Teach Our Kids, Now that Knowledge is Obsolete? Part 2

To follow on this initial post, as well as this one and this one, I’m getting somewhere when it comes to understanding the skills that are mission-critical for the Cognitive Era. It is rather like drinking from a firehose, going out and searching online, following a million breadcrumbs in various directions!

A lot of what I’ve found is simply telling me I’ve been oblivious to a massive body of work around “21st Century Skills.” For what it’s worth (and to start taking a stab at honing in on what I want to ensure my kids learn), here are several takes on modern skills needed, from various sources:

NCTE – National Council of Teachers of English writes in its statement on 21st Century Literacies (thanks to Will Richardson‘s brilliant book Why School?  which led me to it):

Active, successful participants in this 21st century global society must be able to

    • Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology;
    • Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought;
    • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes;
    • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information;
    • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts;
    • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.

P21.org the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, has this framework, based on the 4 C’s and the 3Rs. You should know the three R’s, but here are the 4 Cs:

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving,
  2. Communication,
  3. Collaboration and
  4. Creativity and innovation


And recently  I found this Manifesto 15 – item 10 touches on skills needed:

The future belongs to nerds, geeks, makers, dreamers, and knowmads. While not everybody will or should become an entrepreneur, those who do not develop entrepreneurial skills are at a great disadvantage. Our education systems should focus on the development of entreprenerds: individuals who leverage their specialized knowledge to dream, create, make, explore, learn and promote entrepreneurial, cultural, or social endeavors, taking risks and enjoying the process as much as the final outcome, without fearing the potential failures or mistakes that the journey includes.

Lastly, I found this through an image search that led me to www.teachthought.com and “The Learning Curve” 2014 global report by Pearson. (Calm down; yes, I said Pearson…)


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