The Optimizing Assessment for All team at Brookings, jointly with the Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR), announces a new report, Competencies for the 21st Century: Jurisdictional Progress. The report describes jurisdictions’ level of preparedness in increasing their focus on 21st century competencies (skills, character, and meta-learning—also known as “21st century skills” and “social-emotional learning”).
Already needed for educating the “whole child for the whole world” during normal times, competencies such as resilience, mindfulness, and growth mindset have been starkly highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But learning these competencies cannot be turned on at the flip of a switch—it is a process that needs to be started and sustained during good times and—especially—bad times.
The report highlights some major issues for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers:
- The 12 competencies are distributed reasonably similarly across the three dimensions, primarily for the skills dimension in the CCR framework, and less so for the character and meta-learning dimensions.
- There was a scarcity of pedagogies designed to develop student proficiencies in the competencies. Different jurisdictions varied in their methods of communicating pedagogies and in holding teachers accountable. When documentation on pedagogies were found, they rarely addressed the 12 competencies.
- There is clear lack of alignment across curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment, which is necessary for implementation of the competencies.
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