Today’s Learner: 21st Century Skills Every Student Needs to Succeed

Today’s Learner

We all know that the Common Core curriculum (and other education reform programs) mention 21st century skills, but rarely do those skills seem tangible like they do in this infographic.

Jackie Gerstein, User Generated Education, developed this great chart of what skills would be most valuable for today’s learner. I think these skills are adaptable for anyone in K-12, higher education, or in a continuing education program. I know that I will definitely be referring to this chart over the summer as I draft the curriculum for my program. By the end of next year I hope to have them all on track to mastering or planning to master these skills.

Here’s what I do know: holistic ( social, emotional, and academic ) learning can only benefit today’s learner in every aspect of their lives.


My Educational Belief: Service-Learning



My professional platform is a teaching and learning method: Service-Learning (SL). SL is a process where students learn and develop through active participation in the learning process. This teaching style provides meaningful community service activities that relate to academic subject content that students are learning in the classroom.

The distinction between community service and service learning can be described as: providing direct service to address an immediate need of the community, by serving food at a homeless shelter once a week and service-learning, serving food at a homeless shelter once a week and advocating with homeless families for the creation of more transitional housing and social service programs that ties to identifying a social problem and developing practical solutions. In addition service learning has a reflection component that students (and the community) to complete as it relates to the theories they learn in class. The reflection process allows the students to process whether their learned theory supports or negates what they accomplished through practice.

I chose Service-Learning as my professional platform because I feel strongly that students need to be reengaged in the learning process. Amdist the standards movement and the consistently changing “education movement” the foundation of learning and developing both cognitive and social skills to be active citizens has been lost. Reengaging students in the joy of learning and grasping knowledge that can empower them to change their immediate surroundings is crucial if we are to become a globally competitive country.

Here’s what I do know: incorporating the teaching and learning method of service-learning into the K-12 education curriculum, as it is already being used in multiple higher-education disciplines, would only benefit our students learning and expose them to non-traditional means of learning through service.

Great Debate: Project-Based Learning vs Problem-Based Learning vs XB-L

Surprise, surprise with the great demise of the American education system there are a lot of different reform program coming out of the woodwork in hopes of boosting student learning capabilities and comprehension. I say all this with a hint of being cynical that they will all work, but I am glad that there are options abound to meet the varied learning styles of the ever-changing student population. I think it is about time that there are feasible active learning solutions that students would enjoy.

Alright enough of my rambling about education reform practices, now on to the article Project-Based Learning vs Problem-Based Learning vs XB-L. John Lamer with the Buck Institute for Education, wrote a great article on the varied “x”-based learning models. I like how the article gives a brief history, overview and insight into two of the major debatable models. Also I look forward to looking to reading the second part of the article.

Here’s what I do know: it is pertinent that experiential and collaborative learning is essential toward ensuring that every student is well prepared for to beyond successful in the 21st century.