An introduction to 21st century workplace skills and why they matter to “art smart” parents
There is lots of talk in education about skills needed for the 21st century workplace. Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, predicts that creative, right-brained people will be in great demand in the 21st century workforce. Our job as parents is to prepare our kids for a future we can only imagine. So, what are 21st century skills exactly? Why do they matter to “art smart” parents and how do we help our kids?
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) is a national organization of business, education, and government leaders working as a catalyst to prepare every child for the 21st century. Their mission is clear: “Every child in the U.S. needs 21st century knowledge and skills to succeed as effective citizens, workers, and leaders.” They understand the workplace is dramatically changing and will continue to demand innovation and creativity in order for our students to succeed in the global economy. Many schools are on this path and P21 wants to ensure our students are appropriately prepared for the future.
To meet this challenge, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has identified skills and knowledge for success in the workplace and in life. Student learning is developed through core academic subjects, including the arts, language arts, world languages, math, sciences, economics, geography, history, and civics. In addition to this core knowledge, key skills are required in learning and innovation; information, media and technology; and, life and career (see sidebar). The goal is to take these skills and knowledge and use them to explore five important areas of understanding: global awareness, financial literacy, civic literacy, health literacy, and environmental literacy.