Do you think any of the great leaders in the world would remember grades and marks they got in high school or college semesters? Very unlikely, right? However, I am damn sure that they will remember their experiences and incidents from school and college. From these incidents and experiences, we learn crucial skills in our life, be it professional or personal daily life.
The development of a society, a nation and the world go hand-in-hand with the development of an individual because of the actions and behaviour of an individual for himself/herself or others. an individual is the nucleus of society. Thus, the 21st Century Skills are the skills that are required by an individual for his/her holistic development so that he/she can contribute to the progress and development of his society/ nation and world.
As a teacher i strongly believe that empowering students is in true sence empowering society, nation and the world. I keep telling this to my students all the time that all the things we learn in the school and college will be outdated even before you start your career, in whatever field it is. that is why the best way to achieve this goal is to teach students 21st Century Skills. Which are essencial for your personal, professional growth.
The Glossary of Education Reforms defines 21st Century Skills as:
“The term 21st-century skills refers to a broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are believed—by educators, school reformers, college professors, employers, and others—to be critically important to success in today’s world.”
Based on the historical development of 21st Century Skills, it can be stated that 21st-century skills broadly consist of three main skill sets or 3 Ls – namely, Learning Skills, Life Skills and Literacy Skills.
Learning Skills: skills required for the acquisition of new knowledge. 4Cs: Critical Thinking, Creativity & Innovation, Collaboration, Communication
Literacy Skills: skills that help create and gain new knowledge through reading, media and digital resources. IMT: Information Literacy, Media Literacy, Technology Literacy
Life Skills: skills required for successfully leading an everyday life. FLIPS: Flexibility and Adaptability, Leadership and Responsibility, Initiative and Self-Direction, Social and Cross-Cultural Interaction
- Critical thinking: Finding solutions to problems
- Creativity: Thinking outside the box
- Collaboration: Working with others
- Communication: Talking to others
- Information literacy: Understanding facts, figures, statistics, and data
- Media literacy: Understanding the methods and outlets in which information is published
- Technology literacy: Understanding the machines that make the Information Age possible
- Flexibility: Deviating from plans as needed
- Leadership: Motivating a team to accomplish a goal
- Initiative: Starting projects, strategies, and plans on one’s own
- Productivity: Maintaining efficiency in an age of distractions
- Social skills: Meeting and networking with others for mutual benefit
To stay relevant and productive in the 21st Century, all the students must focus on developing these skills. It is the responsibility of all the teachers, institutions, colleges, universities and policymakers to impart education required in a true sense for the development of the society, nation and the world. If you wish to know how to develop these skills, let me know. I will create another blog explaining the process to develop these essential skills.