21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times
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21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  184 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The new building blocks for learning in a complex world

This important resource introduces a framework for 21st Century learning that maps out the skills needed to survive and thrive in a complex and connected world. 21st Century content includes the basic core subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic-but also emphasizes global awareness, financial/economic literacy, an

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 5th 2009 by Jossey-Bass
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This book details (with some redundancy)skills schools should be helping children develop in order to become successful adults. Schools need to move beyond traditional school skills (reading, writing, math)and focus on helping students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Students will need to work collaboratively, and be innovative, flexible, and self directed. They will also need well developed technology and digital literacy skills. The authors painstakingly outline how schoo...more

I read along with a group of teachers in an Internet blogging book club. It was a dry commentary on the technological skills that students need in the 21st century. Why I don't disagree with the basic outline the author diagrammed out, I think it also discounted intrinsic motivation, home expectations, and discipline.
This book was ok. It provided some great insight into what needs to be changed in education today to better prepare our students for today and tomorrow. I liked it, but the other book I read on 21st century education for this course was much better.
Too much information on how we *should* be teaching 21st century skills, but not enough information on how we can *actually) teach them.
Eric Kalenze
I usually don't record any thoughts here, but can't resist.

Though this book is dressed up as a work to help American Education, it's basically a heap of junk thought justifying why American schools must design themselves to become more tech-driven. Worse, it's brought to you by--you guessed it--very ed-concerned and -expert employees of Cisco and Oracle, a couple of the world's largest technology companies.

As long as American Education allows vendors to dictate the conversation according to the...more
21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times is a great very accessible articulation of a vision for modern schools. Authors, Trilling and Fadel, co-chairs of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills' Standards, Assessment, and Professional Development committee, articulate a rationale for an expanded curriculum that encompasses what Frank Levy and Richard Murnane named expert thinking and complex communication in The New Division of Labor as well as the habits of mind that are explored by...more
Claudia L
When answering four questions: 1) What will the world be like twenty years from now? 2) What skills will your child need in the future you painted? 3) What were the conditions that made your high-performance learning experiences so powerful? 4) What would school be like if it were designed around your answers to questions 1-3?, it is clear that education must look different than it does currently in many of our main stream schools. Building 21st century environments for each child involves chang...more
I completely believe in the need to teach 21st Century Skills; however, this book didn't really speak to me. It was OK and there was some good information but it didn't really pertain to me and where I am as an educator. I am well on my way to understanding 21st Century Skills and the basics were a little too basic for me. As an early childhood teacher none of the examples applied or were anywhere near anything in the primary grades. I do think a middle school or high school teacher would get mo...more
I heard co-author Charles Fadel speak (with Sandy Kelly) at MSLA a couple of years ago. He and Bernie Trilling do a good job of identifying some of the flaws in our current educational initiatives and providing insight into what needs to change. I like the way they precisely define "21st century skills" and also describe a model for inquiry, the Project Learning Bicycle, to replace curriculum instruction.
B Claire
This book helped me, more than any book I've read in the past five or six years, understand how to talk to others about the what I teach in the media center and why it is important today.
If you are looking for an introduction to P21, then this book will suffice. If you are already acquainted with P21 and you want to go the next level, then this book will be a handy guide. I ended up skimming most of the end of the book because most of this was common sense to me. I am very familiar with the standards and I have been in education for almost twenty years. But I do plan on using this book to help me set up the PD plan for the staff of the school where I teach. It has great lists an...more
Jul 17, 2014 Amy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: adult
I read this book as a part of a class I was taking at the same time I served as a rep on a district wide technology design team. It was reassuring to see how well the text complimented the topics being discussed and decisions being made in our district regarding technology and functional spaces especially.
This book lays a good foundation to better understand what education in the 21st century should look like.
We are getting ready to go into curriculum cycle for our Computer Applications classes. I read this book to get some information in current trends in education. The book was informative and some fabulous examples of project based learning, but like every trend in education, implementing is difficult. I have been reading about collaboration and project-based learning, etc. for awhile now. It will take a massive alteration of current school system to implement this type of program in our schools.
Nov 11, 2011 Chris rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: None
Shelves: education
Going by the star system: it was ok.

I didn't think this book really added much to the conversation about what students need to know. The basic skills we want our students to develop haven't changed much at all, it's just the tools that have changed.

Weak writing, lots of fluff, unnecessary figures all hamper the book's argument. Their point was made much more effectively through several articles published on education websites. Read them and save yourself the time.
This is a great overview of the skills our children will need in the 21st century. Our educational systems need to change to meet these needs. There is a great opportunity for industry and education to partner and make this happen. I've seen these skills in action within the insurance industry where carriers, agents and vendors come together to solve industry problems. It's amazing to see this in action and the end result of the collaboration.
Robin Cicchetti
The Knowledge Age is upon us, and U.S.education was too busy trying to fulfill the mandates of No Child Left Behind to notice. Trilling and Fadel do a great job explaining the global and economic changes that have occurred and putting the impact on our children as future workers into context. Our kids need new skills to survive in the new, global economy.
This is a quick read and well worth the time.
I do really like this book. Its very useful and show me some factors that related to the 21st century skills that i never thought before.
Bruce Fieggen
Apr 02, 2014 Bruce Fieggen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bruce by: John Patton
Teaching Project Management to educators so I need to do some research
Good ideas but....
Kevin Hall
There is an important message at the root of this book, but the redundancy and dryness buries it. This book would make a better 2 page article.
Full disclosure. I know Bernie Trilling and am glad he wrote this book. It is a very good description of what we need to be looking to accomplish in our educational systems. It captures the key areas and takes the conversation beyond the Common Core State Standards. There are also some excellent graphics that illustrate key concepts.

Well done.
Great for those people who are just beginning to explore the meaning of teaching 21st century skills. It was a quick read that I would recommend to new teachers or teachers that are beginning their journey into the digital world. I enjoyed the four question exercise at the beginning of the book.
Sep 07, 2010 Marcia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: educators
Recommended to Marcia by: Audrey
Shelves: academic
A good, accessible explanation of the oft used term, "21st Century Skills." It clearly shows us where we were in education, where we are and where we need to be. This should be read by school administrators and the rest of us interested in the best ways to prepare our students for the future.
The book is a good overview of 21st century skills and a fairly quick read. I was going to give it three stars until I watched the DVD that was included. These examples, especially the first few, were extremely helpful at seeing 21st century skills being used in the classroom.
Sam Musher
Meh, it was fine, but oversimplified. As a library teacher at a school that's been wrestling with questions of "21st century learning" for at least a year or so, I flipped through most of this book quickly. If you're new to the concepts, though, it might be a good introduction.
I'm all about 21st century teaching & learning, so I had hoped this book would be right up my alley. While there is some valuable information in this book, it's very dry, dull, and redundant. If I wasn't reading it for a class, I wouldn't have finished it.
A great unpacking of what the 21st century learning model is all about. The DVD enclosed was very helpful to me. Very "21st century." I like to see and hear so this was helpful to my learning and reflection regarding the book's main points.
Jon Cassie
A lucid introduction to the idea of 21st century skills in the American and global classroom. Accessibly written using good resources. Provocative without being intimidating. A great place to start if you're interested in 21st century skills.
Joe Wood
A good primer on 21st century skills from two key individuals at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. What are 21st Century Skills? How would you teach them? How would you assess them?
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