What Does it Mean to Be Skilled in the 21st Century?


 A new report from the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science in Washington aims to clarify what “deeper learning” and “21st Century skills” actually entail. The report says these skills fall into three general categories: 

  • Cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and analytic reasoning;
  • Interpersonal skills, such as teamwork and complex communication; and
  • Intrapersonal skills, such as resiliency and conscientiousness.

For students to be successful in life and work in the 21st century, learning experiences should be designed, and their outcomes assessed, with this range of skills at the fore, say researchers. The biggest challenge, and the true litmus test of student fluency with these skills, is deep transfer of these skills, across disciplines, and in novel contexts.

How do you approach the challenge of deep transfer?