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Creating Schools for the 21 st Century . A way to synergize our work Beth Ratway

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creating schools for the 21 st century

Creating Schools for the21st Century

A way to synergize our work

Beth Ratway

robert pirsig zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

When the question: 'What's new?' is pursued at the expense of all other questions, what follows in its wake is often an endless flood of trivia and fashion. I wish to be concerned with the question: 'What is best?' for this question cuts deeply, rather than broadly sweeping over everything."

Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


You have been asked to present at a congressional hearing on NCLB – they are wondering what are the knowledge, skills and dispositions students need for the 21st century?



“This is a story about the big public conversation the nation is not having about education… whether an entire generation of kids will fail to make the grade in the global economy because they can’t think their way through abstract problems, work in teams, distinguish good formation from bad, or speak a language other than English.”

How to Build a Student for the 21st Century, TIME Magazine, December 18, 2006


“Stop asking me if we’re almost there!

We’re nomads, for crying out loud!”


State Superintendent’s High School Task Force:

  • Move outside of existing structures and pursue innovation
  • Engage students in rigorous, authentic learning experiences that are relevant to their learning needs and future ambitions
  • Create smaller learning environments; require individualized learning plans
  • Promote school, parent, business, and community partnerships


summit on 21st century skills
Summit on 21st Century Skills

Preparing Students for Work,Postsecondary Education, and


March 14, 2007


summit on 21st century skills9
Summit on 21st Century Skills


Competitive Wisconsin, Inc.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

The University of Wisconsin System

The Wisconsin Technical College System

Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities


Business, Labor and Commerce Leaders;


Representatives from Community Organizations and Non-educational Government Agencies


summit on 21st century skills focus group question
Summit on 21st Century SkillsFocus Group Question

If you were to advise an 8th grade student in preparing him/her to work for your company 5-10 years from now, what are the skills, knowledge, and abilities you believe would be essential to develop?

What are the 21st century skills that will sustain and grow a vibrant, global economy?

What should be expected of today’s students so they can be effective citizens and leaders in our communities?


summit on 21st century skills what did we find
Summit on 21st Century Skills What did we find?

Most often discussed among groups were Learning & Thinking Skills and Life Skills

  • critical-thinking and problem solving
  • collaborative communications skills
  • people skills
  • contextual learning skills
  • personal responsibility
  • ethics
  • adaptability (nimbleness)

american diploma project
American Diploma Project

Rigor and Relevance for 21st Century

Engage stakeholders to ensure that every student graduates prepared.

Align high school standards to postsecondary and workforce expectations.

Focus initially on English language arts and mathematics.

Partnership for 21st Century



Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Learning and Innovation Skills

Core Subjects &

21st Century Themes

Life & Career Skills

Information, Media, and Tech Skills

Standards & Assessment

Curriculum & Instruction

Professional Development

Learning Environments


core subjects rigor

Core subjects - RIGOR

State Standards


Grade Level Foundations

21 st century themes relevance

21st century Themes(Relevance)

Grade Level Foundations

21st century themes
21st Century themes

Every generation of Americans wants our schools to prepare students for success in work and life. Today, business and education leaders agree that some content is missing from state and local standards and requirements for most students. This new content represents essential knowledge for the 21st century.







what are we doing to address themes
What are we doing to address Themes:
  • Global
  • International Education Council
  • Civic
  • Service learning
  • Health
  • Health Standards
      • Health Assessments
  • Financial, Economic
  • Personal financial literacy standards


life and career skills

Life and Career skills

Skills Assessment

Career pathways

Project Lead the Way


Career Development

life and career skills24
Life and Career Skills:

Flexibility and Adaptability

Initiative and Self-Direction

Social and Cross-Cultural Skills

Productivity and Accountability

Leadership and Responsibility


information media and technology skills

Information, Media and technology skills

Information technology standards

information media and technology skills26
Information, Media and Technology Skills:
  • Information Literacy
  • Media Literacy
  • Information, Communications, and Technology Literacy
learning and innovation skills

Learning and innovation skills

School Counselors

Library Media Specialists


Special Education

Failing Forward

7 Habits

Habits of Mind

learning and innovation skills28
Learning and Innovation Skills:

Creativity and Innovation

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Communication and Collaboration


how are we focusing on the skills
How are we focusing on the skills

Inquiry, Critical thinking and problem solving Skills

(Critical thinking and systems thinking, Problem identification, formulation and solution, creativity, innovation and intellectual curiosity)

Knowledge acquisition Skills

(concept development, learning how to learn)


Information and

communication Skills

(information and media literacy, ICT literacy (communication skills))

Interpersonal and self-directional skills

(Interpersonal and collaborative skills, self-direction, accountability, adaptability, social responsibility)