Partnership for 21st Century Skills Debuts '21st Century Skills and Social Studies Map'

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The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has joined up with the National Council for the Social Studies to produce the first-ever "21st Century Skills and Social Studies Map"--a sort of fleshed-out framework for that includes resources for integrating 21st century skills into social studies curricula.

The 21st Century Skills and Social Studies Map is the first in a series of planned maps aimed at core subjects. The purpose is to provide a framework and resources for integrating technology and other 21st century skills into core subject studies.

According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, "The social studies map is the first in a series of core content maps designed for educators, administrators and policymakers. Other maps will be available for mathematics, English, geography and science throughout 2008 and 2009."

The 21st Century Skills and Social Studies Map includes lesson plans for integrating 21st century skills into existing curricula, as well as specific student outcomes. It also "provides project models that will result in enhanced student achievement in grades four, eight and 12," according to the Partnership.

Specific skills covered by the map include:

  • Creativity and innovation;
  • Critical thinking and problem solving;
  • Communication;
  • Collaboration;
  • Information literacy;
  • Media literacy;
  • Information and Communication Technologies literacy;
  • Flexibility and adaptability;
  • Initiative and self direction;
  • Social and cross-cultural skills;
  • Productivity and accountability; and
  • Leadership and responsibility.

Each of these is broken into its own section within the map to provide outcomes with examples at each of the three grade levels covered (4, 8, 12). The map also provides a list of suggested tools that can be used to integrate the skills.

"I am confident we have developed an invaluable resource for social studies teachers and educators in general as we move toward a 21st century education system," said Michael Yell, president of the National Council for the Social Studies, in a statement released Thursday. "This map represents the intersection of 21st century skills and the social studies and provides an exciting tool for teachers and students."

"I want to commend NCSS for their dynamic leadership in moving the social studies into the 21st century," said Ken Kay, president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. "This release highlights the Partnership's work to develop innovative tools that both integrate 21st century skills into curriculum and positively impact student learning."

The new resource is free. Further information can be found here.

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About the author: Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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