21st Century Education

Preparing Students for a More Demanding World

The statistics are sobering:

  • There are 5 million unfilled jobs across the country because applicants don’t have the skills employers need (Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 30 million Americans are looking for work (Source: Gallup)
  • Only 11% of low-income students graduate from college (Source:  The Brookings Institution)
  • 41% of U.S. college graduates from the past two years are underemployed or unemployed (Source:  Accenture)
  • By 2025, California will have a workforce shortage of 1 million college graduates (Source: America’s Edge report)
  • Class of 2015 grads average $35,200 in total debt (Source: CNN Money)
  • 23% of U.S. children are living in poverty (Source:  Annie E. Casey Foundation)

The workplace has seen dramatic change in recent years.We now live in an increasingly diverse, globalized, and digital world that requires workers to have a combination of new skills and old skills. For students, proficiency in 21st century skills—the skills, knowledge and expertise students must master to succeed in college, work and life—should be the outcome of a 21st century education.

How do you define 21st century education?

The term “21st century learning” usually refers to core competencies or skills such collaboration and teamwork, creativity and imagination, critical thinking and problem solving.

Education Week recently asked 11 education experts to define 21st-century learning from their own perspectives. To read their responses, click here.