NECC 2009 News

Partnership Releases 21st Century Skills Maps for Science, Geography

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has teamed with the National Science Teachers Association and the National Council for Geographic Education to launch the latest in its series of 21st century roadmaps for core academic subjects, in this case K-12 science and geography. The maps were introduced at the National Education Computing Conference (NECC) being held this week in Washington, DC.

The 21st Century Skills and Science Map and the 21st Century Skills and Geography Map are the third and fourth in a series of maps aimed at core academic subjects in K-12 education. The purpose of the maps in general is to provide a framework and resources for integrating technology and other 21st century skills into core subject areas. The maps are targeted toward educators, administrators, and policymakers and include lesson plans for integrating 21st century skills into existing curricula, as well as specific student outcomes, along with models designed to help enhance student achievement at specific grade levels.

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.

Specific skills included in the maps are:

  • 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.

Interdisciplinary themes tackled in the maps include global awareness; civic literacy; health literacy; and financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy.

"I commend NSTA and NCGE for creating a tool that shows how to incorporate 21st century skills into these important subjects," said Paige Johnson, chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Intel's worldwide manager, K-12 education, in a statement released today. "These content maps help to give practical examples for science and geography teachers across the country."

"The 21st Century Skills and Science map, which includes examples taken directly from science classrooms, represents a tool for teachers and students as they move toward a 21st century education system," said Francis Eberle, executive director of the NSTA, also in a prepared statement. "Through a combination of rigorous coursework and the application of skills such as communication, collaboration and innovation, science courses come alive and better engage students. In turn, students will enjoy learning more and achieve a higher level of excellence."

"The 21st Century Skills and Geography Map presents some of the best teacher-created examples of geographic education," said Joseph Kerski, vice president of external relations for the NCGE. "This work augments our mission to enhance the status and quality of geographic teaching and learning and ensures students engage in spatial analysis and inquiry that will prepare them for today's rapidly changing world."

Further information about the 21st Century Skills and Science and Geography Maps can be found on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills' Web site here. The last map in the series will cover mathematics and is expected to be available later this year.


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About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .