What skills should 21st-century teachers be equipped with?
Updated: Jun 15
In intentional learning, classroom instructional quality and its relationship to learning outcomes are critical. It helps pave the way to bring about educational change.
But an important question here is what the skills that one should equip teachers with are?
Many specific skills can be deemed as "21st-century skills." They are defined, categorised, and determined differently as per geographical regions, schools, etc. However, in short, it reflects a general—if somewhat loose and shifting—consensus.
Categorisation of skills
21st Century skill can be categorised into three:
The term learning skills apply to teachers and is all about the mental processes required to adapt and improve upon a modern work environment.
Literacy skills emphasise determining trustworthy sources and factual information to separate it from the misinformation that floods the Internet.
It focuses on how students can discern facts, publishing outlets, and the technology behind them. Literacy skills further focus on Life skills (FLIPS) and entail intangible elements of a student's everyday life. They focus on personal and professional qualities.
Let's take an elaborative overview of the same:
4 C's of 21st-century skills:
Critical thinking: Finding solutions to problems also embraces problem-solving, reasoning, analysis, interpretation, synthesising information, etc.
Creativity: Thinking outside the box is the next step. This includes artistry, curiosity, imagination, innovation, personal expression and more.
Collaboration: Working with others, student learning, manageable expectations for change and the creation of a supportive environment allows a give-and-take of ideas and a respect for the privacy of peers.
Communication: Talking to others core skills should equip teachers with. It includes oral and written communication, public speaking & presenting, listening & more.
Many believe that critical thinking is the most important quality for someone to have in the education sector. It is a skill essential to improvement and is rather a mechanism that weeds out problems and replaces them with fruitful endeavours.
When teachers are equipped with critical thinking skills, they can help students figure stuff out for themselves when they don't have a teacher at their disposal.
21st Century literacy skills are:
Information literacy: It entails understanding facts, figures, current trends, statistics, and data. The same helps in data interpretation and analysis, computer programming & more.
Media literacy: One should have an understanding of methods and outlets in which information is published. It further embraces information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, media and internet literacy,
Technology-savvy: Understanding the machines that make the Information Age possible. So being tech-savvy and up to date is critical.
21st Century Life Skills
This is another cuticle category that should equip teachers in the 21st century. It is also known as FLIPS. The particular skill set pertains to someone's personal life and can also bleed into professional settings.
Five of the top 21st Century life skills are:
Flexibility: Deviating from plans as needed like perseverance, self-direction, planning, self-discipline, adaptability, initiative, etc.
Leadership: Motivating a team to accomplish a goal and skills like teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, facility in using virtual workspaces, etc. Initiative: Starting projects, strategies, and plans on one's own using research skills and practices along with interrogative questioning.
Productivity: Maintaining efficiency in an age of distractions through perseverance, self-direction, planning, self-discipline and adaptability.
Social skills: These skills include meeting and networking with others for mutual benefit. It also encompasses strong communication skills.
These are some of the aspects that help a teacher become progressive in the approach to working. Intentional Learning teachers need to serve as a guide or mentor for their students, not as the all-knowing sage providing them with all their information.