The school library establishment seems to have embraced the concepts underlying 21st century skills. I think it might be good for us who work with kids on a daily basis to evaluate exactly what we are doing and why. I have been interested in some of the literature criticizing the whole concept. Perhaps I'm just a contrarian, but I think some of the objections are worth pondering.
--The fallback position of 21CS proponents has become something to the effect of “we’re not saying academic content doesn’t matter. Kids need content AND skills.” But Dan Willingham pointed out that it’s inaccurate even to conceive of skills and factual knowledge as separate.
I often hear people say ‘Yes, yes, of course, knowledge is important. After all, you need something to think about.’ But there is more to it than that. Knowledge is not just something that skills operate on-knowledge is what enables skills to operate in the first place.
“Everyone understands that memorizing facts without skills is not enriching,” Willingham noted. ”People forget that training skills without facts doesn’t work.” --
Here are links to two of the best articles I found.
21st-Century Skills Are Not A New Education Trend but Could Be a Fad. By Andrew J. Rotherham. U. S. News and World Report
Flawed Assumptions Undergird the Program at the Partnership for 21st-Century Skills. By Daniel Willingham. Encyclopedia of Britannica Blog
And here is one that is designed to strike fear into the hearts of those of us who believe Content is King. I guess I've known too many gamers who couldn't think their way out of a paper bag. Readers, on the other hand . . . .
Gaming Helps Students Hone 21st-Century Skills: Environments Such as Second Life Can Both Stimulate and Educate, Experts Say. By Laura Devaney. eSchool News