1. List and Discuss the critical skills, referred to as 21st Century Skills, needed to be successful in the 21st Century and beyond, according to P21.
According to P21’s Framework for 21st Century Learning, there are several critical skills that are necessary for success in the 21st Century. These skills are:
The first set of skills, Content Knowledge and 21st Century Themes, are the typical classes that are taught in schools as basic subjects: English, Reading or Language Arts, World Languages, Arts, Mathematics, Economics, Science, Geography, History, and Government and Civics. The P21 believes that it is important to also include more in-depth learning of global awareness as well as financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial, civic, health and environmental literacy.
The second set of skills, Learning and Innovation Skills, are the skills that focus on creativity and collaboration that P21 suggests separates those students who are prepared for life outside of school from those who are not. These skills are: Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, and Communication and Collaboration.
The third set of skills, Information, Media and Technology Skills, are the skills that P21 believes are essential in order to keep up in today’s technological world with the ever increasing ways to gather or display information. These skills are: Information, Media and ICT Literacy. ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology.
The final set of critical skills, Life and Career Skills, are the more personal skills that P21 suggests are essential for success in life and careers. These skills are: Flexibility and Adaptability, Initiative and Self Direction, Social and Cross-Cultural, Productivity and Accountability, and Leadership and Responsibility.
2. Discuss the “Are they really ready to work” report and its key findings.
The “Are They Really Ready to Work” report is from the perspective of employers on the skills and readiness to join the workforce of today’s high school and college students upon graduation. The report is an in-depth collaboration study done by The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the Society for Human Resource Management to establish the most imperative skills employers are looking for in new recruits, where current students are standing with regard to these essential skills and what can be done about the disparities.
The study found that Basic Knowledge, such as reading and writing and Applied Skills, such as professionalism and work ethic, were the most valued skills that new employees are required to possess. The findings showed that many students skill levels were inadequate in the basic skills and applied skills categories. The findings showed that students did have adequate skills with regard to collaboration and teamwork, information technology application and creativity/innovation, with the level of skill shown increasing parallel with the level of education.
The report brought up the effectiveness, cost and use of remedial or on the job training for employees who need to work on basic and applied skills. Costs were not definable as they were so varied. The employers were also asked to list skills that they felt would become more necessary over the next five years. Foreign language skills were listed by more than half of the employers surveyed. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, Information Technology Application and Teamwork/Collaboration topped the list. The most critically rated emerging area was Health and Wellness. Employers believe that this will become increasingly crucial for future employees.
The study indicated that employers believe that the responsibility for preparing emerging employees for the workforce falls on the shoulders of the education system and the employees themselves. However, through partnering with the education system, the report indicates that businesses can help to prepare students to be the employees they want to hire. This can be done through better internships and by building business relationships to allow students the ability to acquire more experience early on.
Administrator. (2007). Framework for 21st century learning. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from Partnership for 21st Century Learning, http://www.p21.org/about-us/p21-framework
Casner-Lotto, J., & Barrington, L. (2006). Are They Really Ready To Work. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/FINAL_REPORT_PDF09-29-06.pdf