In education, 21st Century Skills refer 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 recommend considering configuring your unit template to highlight these skills.

1. 21st Century Skills as Unit Standards

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


This approach allows for use of standards reports to track standard alignment and assessment across the school(s).

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.


This approach allows for use of scope and sequence reports to track 21st century skills across the school(s).

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

Hardcode within existing text boxes a place for 21st Century Skill consideration. This approach pre-populates any free text category with text prompting curriculum writers to add information about 21st century skills.


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 malleability and adaptability.

For more about integrating 21st century skills into curriculum, including ideas on collaboration and assessment, explore our ebook.

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