PARTNERSHIP FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
MISSION STATEMENT OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Serve as a catalyst to position 21st century skills at the center of US K-12 education by building
collaborative partnerships among education, business, community and government leaders
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY CHILDREN
Every child in America needs 21st century knowledge and skills to succeed as effective citizens, workers and
leaders in the 21st century.
There is a profound gap between the knowledge and skills most students learn in school and the knowledge
and skills they need in typical 21st century communities and workplaces.
To successfully face rigorous higher education coursework, career challenges and a globally competitive
workforce, U.S. schools must align classroom environments with real world environments by infusing 21st
This skills set includes:
Information and communication skills (information and media literacy skills; communication skills)
Thinking and problem-solving (critical thinking and systems thinking; problem identification, formulation
and solution; creativity and intellectual curiosity)
Interpersonal and self-direction skills (interpersonal and collaborative skills; self-direction;
accountability and adaptability; social responsibility)
Financial, economic and business literacy, and developing entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace
productivity and career options
FRAMEWORK FOR 21ST CENTURY LEARNING
The framework presents a holistic view of 21st century teaching and learning that combines a discrete focus
on 21st century student outcomes (a blending of specific skills, content knowledge, expertise and literacies)
with innovative support systems to help students master the multi-dimensional abilities required of them in the
The key elements of 21st century learning are represented in the graphic and descriptions below. The graphic
represents both 21st century skills student outcomes (as represented by the arches of the rainbow) and 21st
century skills support systems (as represented by the pools at the bottom).
While the graphic represents each element distinctly for descriptive purposes, the Partnership views all the
components as fully interconnected in the process of 21st century teaching and learning.
Download PDF version of the 21st Century Student Outcomes and Support Systems Framework at
For an interactive view of the framework, visit Route 21 http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/route21/
Download the Full Skills Definition Document