School curricula have tended to focus on defining a specific body of knowledge that students need to master e.g. languages, mathematics, economics, science, history, etc. An initiative emerged in the USA and spread to many other countries that defined twelve 21st-Century skills, which individuals would need to succeed in a fast-paced, digital world.
- Learning skills: The four C’s of learning teaches students about the mental processes that are essential to adapt and progress in modern work and social environments.
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Creativity and innovation
- Literacy skills: Literacy skills teach students how to successfully navigate an information-saturated environment. Data is readily available in high volumes through media and technology. Separating trustworthy facts from misinformation is a key skill to develop as we are shaped by the information surrounding us.
- Information literacy
- Media literacy
- Technology literacy
- Life and career skills: Life skills are personal and interpersonal skills required to navigate work and social settings.
- Social skills.
There is some debate as to whether Century Skills should be taught independently or in the context of the core curricula.