How to Spark It

Fri, 17 Dec, 2021

21st Century Skills Every Kid Should Learn

It’s no longer enough for kids to be academically sound to be successful in today’s world. They need to be ready to meet the challenges of a global economy that is beyond maths, science and social studies. The future success of children depends on them learning 21st century skills that can set them up for success in the 21st century.

21st century skills have become a ubiquitous topic of conversation around the world. What are these 21st century skills your kid needs to learn? This article shares information on each of the 21st century skills in detail. Let’s take a closer look at each of these 21st century skills that majorly contributes to a child’s future life:

What are 21st century skills?

21st century skills are a set of abilities that children need to learn to succeed in the information age. These skills refer to life skills, knowledge, career skills, personality traits, and habits that are critically important for their success.

21st century skills broadly fall into three categories. Each category has its own set of skills:

Category#1: Learning Skills

These skills teach kids about the mental process needed to improve and adapt in an ever-evolving environment. Learning skills are the most popular 21st century skills. Let’s dig into the details of these four Cs:

1. Creativity- out-of-the-box thinking

Creativity empowers students to see age-old concepts in a different light. This brings in innovation that is required for the success of any company, project or strategy. When kids learn the skill of creativity, it helps them understand the way things have always been done versus how things can be changed for better efficiency.

2. Critical thinking-solving problems

Critical thinking is a mechanism that removes obstacles and replaces them with fruitful solutions. Critical thinking helps kids to figure out things by themselves.

3. Communication-interacting with others

This skill acts as a glue binding all the educational qualities together. A child proficient in communication skills can effectively convey ideas. It’s a pivotal skill for a kid to progress their careers in the future.

4. Collaboration-working with others

This skill is probably the most difficult to learn. Collaboration requires people to work together and make compromises to get the best possible outcomes. All the participants need to sacrifice some of their ideas and accept some of the other people’s ideas for the greater good.

Category#2: Literacy Skills

Sometimes referred to as IMT skills, these skills focus on different elements of the digital world. These skills focus on gaining knowledge through reading and using media and technology, enabling them to work effectively with information and technology at all levels. The three 21st century literacy skills include:

5. Information literacy- understanding data, figures, facts and statistics

This foundational skill helps kids understand facts and data obtained from an online source. It also teaches them to effectively distinguish fact from fiction. In a world where misinformation is rampant across online platforms, it’s important that children learn the skill of identifying true from false. This helps prevent them from falling prey to myths, lies and misconceptions.

6. Media literacy-understanding the channels and methods of publishing information

Media literacy helps identify the methods, sources and outlets of publishing while distinguishing between the ones that are credible and the ones that aren’t.

7. Technology literacy- understanding the devices, equipment, and machines to work efficiently with them

Technology literacy teaches children about the devices and machines used in this information age. Computers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobile phones, and cloud programming are becoming a part of our lives. Technology literacy gives kids the basic information they need to understand about technology and its applications. This helps them to adapt to the world more effectively and play an important role in its evolution.

Category#3: Life Skills

Life skills are the final category of 21st century skills. These skills focus on the intangible aspects of a kid’s daily life. The intangibles include personal and professional qualities. These skills also involve personal attributes that also bleed into professional settings. The five 21st Century life skills are:

8. Leadership- motivating and guiding a team to achieve goals

Leadership is about setting goals and leading the team through the required steps needed to achieve the goals.

9. Flexibility- adapting to deviating plans as and when needed

Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing situations and circumstances. This involves knowing how to change when to change, and how to react to change. This skill can get quite challenging as the kids need to learn to get comfortable with two ideas: their way isn’t always the best, and they need to know and admit when they are wrong.

10. Productivity- maintaining efficiency

Productivity is the ability to complete work in a certain amount of time. By understanding productivity, children can discover ways to work their best while gaining an appreciation for their work.

11. Initiative- starting strategies, projects, and plan on their own

To be successful in the 21st century, children need to be self-starters. The initiative comes naturally to some people, while others have to develop it.

12. Social skills- networking and socialising with others for mutual benefit

In the age of social media and instant communication, the way people interact with each other has changed. Therefore, it’s important that children possess a wide range of social skills. Some are quick to adapt socially, while others take time. Social skills like manners, etiquette, small talk, and etiquette play major roles in today’s world.

What is the importance of 21st century skills?

The 21st century skills have always been important, but now they’ve become essential in a world that moves faster by the day. All these 21st century skills focus on an individual’s ability to enact and/or adapt to change.

Today, the only thing that’s constant is the change. Professional and personal lives will be continuously disrupted with new technologies and ideas. Therefore, kids need to learn how to navigate through the changes that will inundate their lives. At the very least, they need to learn how to react to it, embrace it and work with it. PlanetSpark helps develop such skills through its online courses. Enroll now