Tuesday, September 25, 2012

21st Century Skills: Website Review

Partnership for the 21st Century Skills: Website Review

The Partnership for the 21st Century Skills (P21) is a nation organization aimed at creating a partnership between education, business, community and governments that prepares K-12 students for the future workforce. P21 believes that narrowing the gap of current and future workforce’s skill-set and technological needs is possible, if K-12 schools incorporate the 3Rs and 4Rs educational format. The 3Rs places emphasizes on subjects such as English, reading, math, science etc. while the 4Rs emphasizes the need for critical thinking and problem solving, communication and innovation. The P21 website offers a plethora of links to various resources, publications to further understand and incorporate their concepts.
While P21 makes a great case for the need for schools to apply to the 3Rs and 4Rs, I personally feel that placing the responsibility solely on K-12 education is misguided.  K-12 education responsibility is to education the youth the basic skills to be productive members of society and stress the importance furthering their education. The individual needs to become a “life long learner” and continue their education at colleges, trade schools or educational workshops.  Business interrogating new technology should also carry the burden of educating and financing the current workforce or provide aid to new employees.
As a Career Technical Education instructor, I incorporate concepts like P21 3Rs and 4Rs in to my courses. Students are learning and practicing techniques currently used in industry. Following graduation of high school, my students have the necessary skills to earn entry level jobs in fields of auto, drafting and woodworking. It is the responsibility of the individual to make the necessary sacrifices and iron out a path that will make them relevant in the 21st century.   

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21)


  1. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that is it not solely the responsibility of the K-12 teacher to prepare our children for the future. 'It takes a village to raise a child.'
    It is even more frustrating to know that not only do most people feel that it is all to be accomplished by the public school system, but they continue to cut the funding for that public education each year.
    Where are we going? When will we get there?

  2. I agree, just like Mrs. Klinger, with your comment about the responsibility falling on all involved in the education process, especially the learner. As educators, we help instill the mentality of becoming a life long learner as we lead by example, but school is only one place where students are exposed to this. If families jump on board as well as the higher authorities, students will begin to view their time in school as time well spent.

    Unfortunately, education is often displayed in an unflattering light, and parents' own experiences may often times affect a student's feeling about school. It does indeed take a village to raise a child.

  3. Though I agree with your post, I am going to play devil advocate.
    Our students spend most of their day at school, why shouldn't we be teaching the necessary skills the students need to be involved in their environment. The moment they step outside our door, we no longer have control of what the student is doing. Parents are working and as much as they want to be involved, between homework and family life, it is difficult to teach the skills needed to live.
    If the teacher plans correctly the skills and content can be co-taught effectively.

  4. Jarv, I really like how you gave a quick synopsis of the P21 website in your first paragraph. You outlined it wonderfully! I should have done that in my blog post. I also liked how you wrote in your second paragraph about how teachers should not be the only ones molding students into their future successful selves as we can only do so much. I didn’t really give that much thought until you suggested it but it makes perfect sense. Mrs. Klinger’s comment about “It takes a village to raise a child” gives a wonderful image about the many important people that can positively influence a child’s growth. Erika also made a good point about getting families more involved as well as higher authorities. The same thoughts were running through my head. The bigger the support system for the child, the more likely it is that they will find success. Jeanine, I have to say that yes as teachers we can definitely do a bit more to incorporate more life skills into our planning and teaching, however, all those skills we teach children really need to be supported at home in order for them to stick. In a perfect world, there would be a balance of support and teaching from both sides! Sometimes though, families can undo some of the positive things we teach our students. Although I think that is pretty uncommon. Something to consider nonetheless! Great post Jarv!