Panel of Scholars Defines '21st-Century Skills'
Top scholars say students need mix of abilities
The modern workplace and lifestyle demand that students balance cognitive, personal, and interpersonal abilities, but education policy discussions have not defined those skills well, says a report released last week by scholars from the National Research Council.
A "who's who" team of experts from the National Academies of Sciences collaborated for more than a year on the report intended to define what researchers, educators, and policymakers mean when they talk about "deeper learning" and "21st-century skills." (The report was sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which supports Education Week 's coverage of "deeper learning" issues.)
"Staying in school and completing degrees clearly have very strong effects," said James W. Pellegrino, a co-editor of the report and a co-director of the Interdisciplinary Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Americans get about a 7 percent to 11 percent return in higher career earnings based on their years of schooling, he said, "and cognitive skills"—the kind most associated with academic aptitude—"don't explain all the effects of schooling. Schooling is probably a proxy for some combination of...
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