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ERIC Number: EJ831327
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar-4
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Backers of "21st-Century Skills" Take Flak
Sawchuk, Stephen
Education Week, v28 n23 p1, 14 Mar 2009
The phrase "21st-century skills" is everywhere in education policy discussions these days, from faculty lounges to the highest echelons of the U.S. education system. Broadly speaking, it refers to a push for schools to teach critical-thinking, analytical, and technology skills, in addition to the "soft skills" of creativity, collaboration, and communication that some experts argue will be in high demand as the world increasingly shifts to a global, entrepreneurial, and service-based workplace. This article reports that a group of researchers, historians, and policymakers from across the political spectrum are raising a red flag about the agenda as embodied by the Tucson, Arizona-based Partnership for 21st Century Skills, or P21, the leading advocacy group for 21st-century skills. According to them, unless states that sign on to the movement ensure that all students are also taught a body of explicit, well-sequenced content, a focus on skills will not help students develop higher-order critical-thinking abilities.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A