In recent years, our workforce has changed at a rapid pace. In order to adapt to these changes, the world has realized that our students need to be prepared for the careers of tomorrow. The focus in education has adapted to reflect this realization and out of this the 21st Century Skills were identified. What exactly are these skills? What makes them so crucial for future careers? How can we address these skills within a COVID-conscious learning environment?
Today, I am talking with Sara Hutchinson, the K-5 English Language Arts Coordinator in the Office of Early and Elementary Learning at the West Virginia Department of Education, to discuss these questions regarding 21st Century Skills and to begin examining the 21st Century Skills that are known as the 4 C’s.
What to Listen for:
- What are 21st Century Skills?
- Why are these skills so critical for our students to develop?
- What does our current Industrial Revolution look like?
- How has the focus in education shifted to reflect the changes and newly developed careers of the 21stCentury?
- Although literacy is not listed as a 21stCentury Skill, what questions can educators ask themselves in order to shift their approach in literacy instruction to empower and prepare our students for the careers of tomorrow?
- What is critical thinking?
- How can educators begin to embed critical thinking instruction into their practice, whether that is in a physical or virtual sense?
My hope is that this episode conveys the importance and ease of implementing 21st Century Skills into the COVID conscious classroom along with the lifelong benefits that your students will take away. 21st Century Skills are so important not only for future careers paths, but they are the soft skills that our students will need in order to navigate a world that does not exist yet. By helping our students to develop these skills in our classrooms today, we are positioning them to be the successful, global leaders of tomorrow.