21st Century Skills

21st Century Skills

21st century skills reflect important dimensions of human competence that have been valuable for many centuries, rather than skills that are suddenly new, unique and valuable today. In the past, these were referred to as workplace skills.  21st century skills are needed in many areas of life besides the workplace. These skills are essential for our day-to-day existence as 21st century citizens.

The 21st Century Skills Framework was established by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (p21.org). 
They identify the following as critical learning and innovation skills:

The 4 C’s




      Critical Thinking


Other components of the 21st Century Skills Framework include:

  • Information, Media, and Technology Skills
  • Life and Career Skills
  • Core Subjects and 21st Century themes

The ideal scenario is to weave 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects. Schools must move beyond the focus on mastery of core subjects alone. 

21st Century Themes  

  • financial and entrepreneurial literacy 
  • global awareness
  • health literacy
  • environmental literacy
  • 21st century learning is digitally focused and relates to real-world contexts