By Anna Murphy, Rubicon International

One buzz phrase we hear all the time is 21st Century Skills.  In education, 21st Century Skills refers to the transformation of classroom strategies and curriculum to shape students prepared to meet the demands of an evolving world. Increasingly, citizens in the 21st century must participate in intercultural communication, critical thinking, technological integration, and much more. And, as teachers, students rely on us to prepare them for these new expectations and needs.

The Partnership for 21st Century Learning developed a comprehensive framework aimed at integrating 21st century preparedness into curriculum. The framework is an amalgamation of skills, knowledge, and support systems necessary to foster students capable of satisfying the needs and demands of the 21st century. As schools look to update their units and integrate 21st Century Skills in curriculum, we have a few suggestions for configuring your curriculum template to highlight these skills.

1. 21st Century Skills as Overarching Unit Standards

Incorporate a 21st century standards menu into your curriculum map. This category filters the 21st Century Framework so that you can check-off the skills and competencies being targeted in a unit.

Benefit: This approach allows for reporting capabilities within Atlas’s reporting capabilities so you can see how exactly the skills are being addressed across the school.

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2. Text box for Reflection on 21st Century Skills

Create a new category. The text box allows teachers to reflect on the ways in which the unit will incorporate 21st Century Skills.

Benefit: This approach allows for reporting capabilities within Atlas’s reporting capabilities so you can see how exactly the skills are being addressed across the school.

3. 21st Century Skills as an Addition to Existing Categories

Hardcode within existing text boxes a place for 21st Century Skill consideration.

Benefit: Teachers can reflect in several mapping categories about how the unit will address 21st Century Skills. The skills are multi-dimensional and appear across the curriculum, so this approach facilitates that malleability and adaptability.The ways to incorporate 21st Century Skills into curriculum are numerous and flexible. Through linking the skills to curriculum, teachers will be able to help students rise to these new expectations.

If you’re interested in adding similar categories to your school’s template, reach out to our Support team. And if you’re not (yet!) an Atlas client, learn more about the curriculum mapping platform featured in this blog.

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