21st c. Required Aptitudes
Aptitudes may not be the best catch-all term; each writer labels them a little differently, but we now have a growing group of writers posing what they believe is required for success in the new century, in this new age. Pink calls them senses, Gardener minds, Wagner survival skills.
Here they are, in no particular order of their publication:
Pink, 2005, Six Senses
"In the Conceptual Age, we will need to complement our L-Directed reasoning by mastering six essential R-Directed aptitudes. Together, these six high concept-high touch senses can help develop the whole new mind this new era demands."
1. Not just function but also Design.
We must be able to create things beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging.
2. Not just argument, but also Story. The essence of persuasion, communication, and self-understanding has become the ability also to fashion a compelling narrative.
3. Not just focus, but also Symphony. What's in greatest demand today isn't analysis but synthesis-- seeing the big picture, crossing boundaries, and being able to combine disparate pieces into an arresting new whole.
4. Not just logic, but also Empathy. What will distinguish those who thrive will be their ability to understand what makes their fellow man or woman tick, to forge relationships, and to care for others.
5. Not just seriousness but also Play. Too much sobriety can be bad for your career; in the Conceptual Age, in work and life, we ll need to play.
6. Not just accumulation, but also Meaning. With material plenty, we have been liberated to pursue more significant desires: purpose, transcendence, and spiritual fulfillment.
Gardner, 2006, Five Minds
1. The Disciplinary mind: Individuals without one or more disciplines will not be able to succeed at any demanding workplace and will be restricted to menial tasks.
2. The Synthesizing mind: Individuals without synthesizing capabilities will be overwhelmed by information and unable to make judicious decisions about personal or professional matters.
3. The Creating mind. Individuals without creating capacities will be replaced by computers and will drive away those who do have the creative spark.
4. The Respectful mind: Individuals without respect will not be worthy of respect by others and will poision the workplace and the common
5. The Ethical mind: Individuals without ethics will yield a world devoid of decent workers and responsible citizens: none of us will want to live on that desolate planet.
Partnership for 21st century Skills, 2006, Student Outcomes
21st century Themes:
1. Global Awareness
2. Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy
3. Civil Literacy
4. Health Literacy
Learning and Innovation Skills
5. Creativity and Innovation
6. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
7. Communication and Collaboration
Information, Media, and Technology
8. Information Literacy
9. Media Literacy
10. ICT (Information, Communications, and Technology Literacy).
Life and Career Skills
11. Flexibility and Adapatability
12 Initiative and Self Direction
13. Social and Cross Cultural Skills
14. Productivity and Accountability
15. Leadership and Responsibility
Sternberg, 2006, The New Three R's
1. Reasoning: Planning, Flexibility, Resourcefulness, Critical Thinking.
Conley, 2007, Key Cognitive Strategies and Overarching Academic Skills
1. Intellectual Openness
4. Reasoning, argumentation, proof
6. Precision and Accuracy
Wagner, 2008, Seven Survival Skills
1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
2. Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence
3. Agility and Adaptability
4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
5. Effective Oral and Written Communications
6. Accessing and Analyzing Information
7. Curiosity and Imagination.
Council for Aid to Education Collegiate Learning Assessment
1. Critical Thinking
2. Analytic Reasoning
3. Written Communication
Judy Estrin, Closing Innovation Gap, Five Core Values of Innovation
Bransford, et. al: How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School. (1999)
From the 20th c. literacy skills of simple reading, writing, and calculating, we now need higher order literacy:
1. thinking and reading critically;
2. expressing oneself clearly and persuasively;
3. solving complex problems.
Know of other lists of 21st century requirements? Have some suggestions of your own? Think the lists above are off base in some way. Use the comment box, add to the conversation!