21st Century Learning Expectations
Effective schools identify core values and beliefs about learning that function as explicit foundational commitments to students and the community. Decision-making remains focused on and aligned with these critical commitments. Core values and beliefs manifest themselves in research-based, school-wide 21st century learning expectations. Every component of the school is driven by the core values and beliefs about learning and supports all students' achievement of the school's learning expectations. (from the Overview for Standard 1)
What are 21st century learning expectations?
The bibliography under the "Getting Started" tab provides numerous resources for teachers and administrators to use in their research. An internet search suggests a number of organizations devoted to the concept of 21st century skills which schools can use as they develop their own local set of 21st century learning expectations.
Indicator 2 of the first Standard on Core Values, Beliefs, and Learning Expectations: The school has challenging and measurable 21st century learning expectations for all students which address academic, social, and civic competencies, and are defined by school-wide analytic rubrics that identify targeted high levels of achievement.
The research suggests that these 21st century skills will be suited to emerging challenges of the 21st century. They are ususally integrated and interdisciplinary, reflect increased globalization, address specific skills needed for the 21st century, and incorporate the use of cutting edge technology.
Some of the skills often considered by schools include: collaboration, systems thinking, empathy, communication (including reading, writing, speaking, listening skills), technological skills, civic engagement, intrapersonal intelligence, and problem-solving. The important idea in the Standard is for the school and its stakeholders to examine research, engage in conversations, and then identify which skills are the ones that are important for ALL students.