Twenty-first-century students shall obtain a great deal of knowledge and skills. Obviously, they need a deeper understanding of the core concepts in the disciplines and the related interdisciplinary knowledge for 21st century. In addition, students need to be able to acquire 21st century skills (Fisher & Frey, 2010; Kay 2010). This essay presents why 21st century skills are needed in future. Then the 21st century skills are introduced, followed by an example of teaching 21st century content and skills. Finally, some advices for teaching would be suggested.
Why are 21st century skills needed for learning in the future?
In this high-technology society, the nature of work done by people is continually shifting as computers and telecommunications expand their capabilities to accomplish human tasks. There is a decline of the labor force that consists primarily of routine cognitive work and manual labor, because those tasks are easily displaced by computers and machines. Jobs that emphasize expert thinking or complex communication are growing in proportions.
Thus, problem solving is a very important lifelong learning skill (AASL 2009; Kay 2010). Students shall not only solve well-structured problems, but also solve problems in the real world. During problem based learning, it helps the students to understand the relevance of what they learn and to facilitate knowledge transfer.
Besides, in this complex, fast-changing knowledge society, the demand for collaborative work is increasing. This is because the problems are far more complex and cannot be solved by individual alone. In order to tackle this problem, forming teams of specialists for accomplishing complex tasks becomes more effective, efficient and timely. Students become successful once they learn how to collaborate with others.
Facing an exponential growth in the flow of information with the advance of technology... [continues]
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