What are 21st Century Skills?

It’s common to hear the phrase 21st Century skills thrown around. For some, it has achieved buzzword status but behind panicking Op-eds and special committees lies a core truth: the way in which we relate to each other as a society is changing dramatically, and so too is the world of work.

Rapid technological advancements have headlined this era with fear about automation and the tech age taking centre-stage. Alongside this, a less widely heard story has developed; as globalization and cultural exchange has increased, so too has the demand for soft-skills and cultural sensitivity. Not only must we be independent and creative thinkers, we must also be truly cosmopolitan global citizens. What exactly are these skills, and why are they so sought after?

Critical and creative thinking, communication, leadership, collaboration, strategic teamwork, and problem-solving and quick-thinking skills. These skills help develop an adaptable mind, capable of facing the challenges and variation in the world of work. In order to demonstrate thee skills, students need to be taught, and become familiar, with higher order thinking. Moreover, their development is augmented by building key character capacities such as confidence, citizenship, self-esteem, resilience and empathy.

Report after report, from business leaders, top employers, small and medium enterprises, and think tanks, highlight not only the demand for these skills, but also a shortage[1]. Such calls are not just for the few individuals who are naturally endowed with an abundance of these skills, but for a wholesale re-thinking of how education can serve to grow these capacities in students the world over.

staging.debatemate.online was created to pass on precisely these skills. For 10 years, our Debate Mate’s Core after school clubs have built students who thrive in the modern world, with brilliant results! Our teacher training programmes optimize our highly successful methodology for any classroom – from History to Mathematics, we have shown that debate-led teaching allows any teacher, of any subject to prepare students for the real future of work.