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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Education and Skills in the 21st Century

UnknownVera Baklashova
Many organizations have started initiatives recently to work closely with government, business, academic, scientific and research groups to develop and implement educational programs. With the cooperation of specialists in various fields of knowledge, we need to prepare today's young people for success in the fast-growing knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.

The world is significantly changing in terms of ideas and industries, economic growth and employment competition. The purpose of these education initiatives is to help the younger generation develop flexible and creative thinking skills to be successful and achieve their full potential in the future.

Twenty-first-century teaching and learning, which consist of a blend of specific skills, content knowledge and literacy in technological support systems, have adapted to help students master the multidimensional abilities required of them.

The development of our modern technological world means that mastery of core subjects and 21st-century themes is more important than ever for students. Core subjects include English, reading or language arts, world languages, arts, mathematics, economics, science, geography, history, government and civics.

However, in addition to these subjects, a student's educational demands require schools to move beyond a focus on basic competency in core subjects to promoting the understanding of academic content at much higher levels by interweaving 21st-century interdisciplinary themes such as global awareness, information technology and economics, into core subjects. Nowadays, both learning and creative skills are increasingly being recognized as the skills that separate students who are prepared for our increasingly complex life and work environments and those who are not. In short, a focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future. Exercising sound reasoning, making complex choices and decisions, understanding the interconnections among systems, and identifying and asking questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions are the skills necessary for working in any professional field and being successful in critical thinking and problem solving.

The current importance of skills and teamwork is obvious. Today's work environments require far more than just thinking, information technology and content knowledge. The ability to navigate in this globally competitive information age requires students to pay rigorous attention to the development of adequate life and career skills. Only people who are properly prepared and able to adapt and work with others will be effective in their job and build a strong career.

The addition of group work and cooperation in education supports professional learning communities that enable educators to collaborate, share their best practices and integrate 21st-century skills into classroom practice. It helps to improve the staff of the whole country and even world and to make investments into the future today.

We also need to have a further education for school children, aimed at developing computer skills. It is crucial to use a comprehensive approach to training, because not only flexibility, but also technical computer skills are necessary to adapt to society, a profession, and to communicate with others. The advantage of educational innovation is the fact that it focuses primarily on children who have not previously had computer lessons.

In conclusion, workers must be ready to focus on content knowledge and expertise; build understanding across and among core subjects; and emphasize deep understanding rather than shallow knowledge. Students learn best when actively engaged in solving meaningful problems.

In any case, education needs an innovative and skilled student, who has received the aforementioned 21st-century skills, proper instruction, and a good learning environment for professional development. The situation shows the necessity to reform education and integrate innovative ideas and projects.