State Implementation Guides Focus on Best Practices for 21st Century Learning

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has released a new set of guidelines designed to help states integrate 21st skills into core academic subjects.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a coalition of business and education groups focused on technology education and the integration of technology into education. The group provides the Framework for 21st Century Learning, which is a roadmap for education centered around technology and skills-focused learning. It also provides resources focused on providing information and tools for educators for boosting 21st century learning in K-12.

The new "State Implementation Guides," which were introduced Friday at the ACSD Conference on Teaching and Learning, focus on developing assessments, curricula, and other aspects of education to integrate 21st century skills, with a particular emphasis on history, mathematics, reading, science, and other core subjects.

At present, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills has released five such implementation guides, downloadable as individual PDFs:

"Many of today's educators are clamoring for resources that help them better learn how to teach and assess 21st century skills," said Ken Kay, president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, in a prepared statement. "Without quality professional development, the best standards, assessments, curricula and learning environments will not have much of an impact on student achievement. That is not to say that this is easily done. Robust professional development must focus on lesson plans geared to high cognitive demands and the potential difficulties in using student-centered methods such as project-based learning."

"As the Partnership's strategic council chair, I hope to encourage more states to join the 21st century learning movement to ensure our next generation of leaders are prepared for and inspired to achieve careers in innovative, inventive areas that might not even exist today," said Kathy Hurley, who is also chair of the executive board at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and senior vice president of strategic partnerships for Pearson. "With these new guides, P21 provides support for educators nationwide who are integrating skills like critical thinking and problem solving into their education frameworks. Knowing the critical role teachers and administrators play in preparing our youth for tomorrow's challenges, the guides include professional development opportunities in addition to curriculum, assessment and instructional suggestions."

Further information about the new State Implementation Guides can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).