21st Century Skills For Teachers And Students

21st Century Skills For Teachers And Students

The 21st century skills are needed by teachers and students, and this is because academics of yesterday are not sufficient for today.

21st century skills for teachers and students

For instance, one of the reasons for the high rates of unemployed graduates is due to inadequate of the required skills needed by graduates in the 21st century. These skills are needed by students to thrive in today’s global economy. In order to meet the global demands, schools must be transformed in ways that will enable students to acquire the creative thinking, flexible problem solving, collaboration and innovative skills they will need to be successful in work and life.

Furthermore, teachers who don’t embrace these skills won’t be effective in impacting relevant knowledge to their students. One of the roles of a teacher is to prepare students for the world beyond the classroom. And this can only be possible by equipping them with the right skills needed in this century.

According to Educational Testing Service (ETS), the 21st century learning skills is defined as the ability to collect, organize and manage information, evaluate the quality and usefulness of information, and generate accurate information through the use of existing resources.

In one of their publications, Griffin et al. (eds.) listed the 21st century learning agenda as:

Ways of thinking

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making
  • Learning to learn, metacognition

Ways of working

  • Collaboration
  • Communication

Tools for working

  • Information literacy
  • ICT literacy

Skills for living in the world

  • Local and global citizenship
  • Life and career
  • Personal and social responsibility

From the agenda listed above, some of the 21st century skills for teachers and students are explained in details below:

Creativity and innovation: This is an important skill that should be possessed by both the teachers and students. Creativity for teacher is the ability of a teacher to generate new ideas to deliver the course content for his/her students to understand. A creative and innovative teacher will produce outstanding students.

Information literacy: This helps learners to master content and extend their research, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.

ICT literacy: This is about leveraging learning with emerging technologies like computer, smart phones etc. Effective teaching requires that a teacher should be able to make use of the technologies available for proper delivery of his content.

Problem-solving: It is being analytic and creative in evaluating, comparing, and using imaginative power to create a large range of ideas for solutions.

Learning to learn: This is the ability to device a means or strategy to understand the course content. This skill will help students to have good learning attitude i.e. need to understand and make sense, thinking for themselves.

Communication skill: For a teacher to communicate effectively he should be able to express his ideas and views clearly and concisely by tailoring his content and style to his students i.e. he must make his content student focused for effective learning.

More information: I believe this page has provided you with the information on the 21st century skills for teachers and students. You can also visit the homepage for more interesting information.

Related Article: How to improve your success rate as a teacher


(1) Griffin et al. (eds.), Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills, University of Melbourne, Australia

(2) The Educational Testing Service (ETS), Digital Transformation: A Literacy Framework for ICT Literacy (2007)

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.

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