Study: Not Enough American Students Learning '21st Century Skills'

A classroom at Gloucestershire College. (James F Clay/Flickr)

Today marked the first day of Asia Society's annual Partnership for Global Learning Conference, and for those who couldn't be in New York for the conference, Asia Society Vice President for Education Anthony Jackson featured a post by keynote speaker Brandon Busteed on his blog for Education Week.

Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education, shares the results of a Gallup/Microsoft Partners in Learning/Pearson Foundation study that directly links future work success with students learning "21st century skills," which include "knowledge construction, real-world problem-solving, collaboration, self-regulation, skilled communication, technology, and global awareness." The problem, says Busteed, is that not enough young Americans are learning and practicing these skills in school.

According to Busteed, the study also shows that having teachers who care about students' problems and aspirations is strongly correlated with higher levels of 21st century skills and consequently later work success. Regarding how these findings should be applied within the education system, Busteed says:

The vision for what we should be doing in schools: Students have teachers who care about them, know their hopes and dreams, and help them discover what they like to do and what they do best. Students work hard applying what they are learning over long-term projects involving collaborative technologies that aim to solve real-world problems.

The Partnership for Global Learning Conference continues until June 29 and will feature other speakers such as Deborah Deslile, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor of Eduation at Stanford University; and Karen Symms Gallagher, Dean of the University of Southern California's School of Education.

Read Busteed's entire post here.

About the Author

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Jennifer Shyue is a contributor to Asia Blog. Originally a Brooklynite, she is currently a student at Princeton University.