The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) released the State Implementation Guides – which offer best practices on building standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development and learning environments – to help integrate skills (such as critical thinking, problem solving and communication) more purposefully into core academic subjects (such as mathematics, reading, science, history and others).
“I hope to encourage more states to join the 21st century learning movement to ensure our next generation of leaders are prepared for and inspired to achieve careers in innovative, inventive areas that might not even exist today,” said Kathy Hurley, P21 executive board and strategic council chair, and senior vice president of strategic partnerships for Pearson. “With these new guides, P21 provides support for educators nationwide who are integrating skills like critical thinking and problem solving into their education frameworks. Knowing the critical role teachers and administrators play in preparing our youth for tomorrow’s challenges, the guides include professional development opportunities in addition to curriculum, assessment and instructional suggestions.”
The guides demonstrate that no skills implementation can be successful without developing core academic subject knowledge and understanding among all students – students who can think critically and communicate effectively must build on a base of core academic subject knowledge to be successful in today’s world. In addition, it is important to note that the support systems discussed in the guides are not merely ends, but means to a greater goal.
The Partnership released the guides at ASCD’s Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning after receiving extensive feedback from practitioners, policy-makers, academics, business and community leaders and others throughout the year, including during the P21 Cyber and National Summits in June 2009.