21st Century Skills - Themes & Key Subjects

Mastery of key subjects and 21st century themes is essential to student success. Key subjects include English, Reading, or Language Arts, World Languages; Arts; Mathematics, Economics; Science; Geography; History; Government; and Civics. In addition, schools must promote an understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into key subjects:

• Global Awareness

• Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy

• Civic Literacy

• Health Literacy

• Environmental Literacy



Learning and innovation skills are what separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in today’s world and those who are not. These skills include:

• Creativity and Innovation

• Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

• Communication

• Collaboration



Today, we live in a technology and media-driven environment, marked by access to an abundance of information, rapid changes in technology tools, and the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. Effective citizens and workers must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical thinking skills, such as:

• Information Literacy

• Media Literacy

• ICT (Information, Communications, and Technology) Literacy



Today’s students need to develop thinking skills, content knowledge, and social and emotional competencies to navigate complex life and work environments. Essential life and career skills include:

• Flexibility and Adaptability

• Initiative and Self-Direction

• Social and Cross-Cultural Skills

• Productivity and Accountability

• Leadership and Responsibility

*Information from file:///home/chronos/u-cd568ed3f4d7e2808fce54a980325a2ab1493544/MyFiles/Downloads/P21_Framework_Brief.pdf


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