Partnership Releases Educators' Guide to Integrating 21st Century Skills

The Tucson-based Partnership for 21st Century Skills has announced the release of its Milestones for Improving Learning and Education (MILE) Guide, a resource designed to aid schools and districts in fully and effectively integrating 21st century skills into policy and curricula.

The MILE Guide offers a complete framework for 21st century skills integration into the major subject areas (math, natural science, social studies, etc.). The framework can guide educators and other facilitators in making the skills not merely a component of the child's primary and secondary education, but an integral part of all facets of that education. The guide also offers three benchmarks--early stage, transitional, and 21st century--to determine what skills and skill levels a student should be able to demonstrate and, of at least equal importance, what role these skills will play in that student's educational development and in his or her future.

Finally, the guide provides a self-assessment tool that districts and schools can use to determine which of the tools, methods, programs, and policies deemed most effective by the Partnership they already have in place and which ones they strongly consider implementing in order to give their students the optimal sets of skills and opportunities to practice and apply them.

One example is the benchmarks for the category of education support systems under the topic of instruction. At the early stage, the guide recommends academic content be focused primarily on core subject matter; for the transitional stage, a mix of core subject content and anywhere from 25 percent to 75 percent 21st century skills integration; and at the 21st century stage, from 75 percent to all of the academic content should integrate the skills. The self-assessment covers five key component categories of education, including support systems, leadership, policy, community partnering, and strategic planning.

To download a copy of the guide, visit the MILE Guide Web page here.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.