Embedding Competencies in Disciplines: which 21st Century Skills/SEL are most appropriate for which content?

Is Math appropriate to teach leadership, or is critical thinking more likely? Beyond Communication and Creativity respectively, what should Language and Arts focus on? After three years of research, CCR publishes its ground-breaking recommendations in a new report, which describes which disciplines are most conducive to teach given competencies. Among the findings:

  • The importance of the Arts for the development of many Competencies
  • The importance of modern disciplines such as entrepreneurship, for competencies that are difficult to cover via traditional disciplines (such as Courage and Leadership).

Executive Summary

While CCR’s Competencies outline a framework—beyond Knowledge—of what people must learn for success, teaching them explicitly can be difficult or overwhelming even for expert teachers. To explicitly teach the Competencies, a framework matching them to specific Disciplines is necessary. This system allows each Discipline to focus on specific Competencies that can be systematically designed to guarantee comprehensive coverage of Skills, Character, and Meta-learning, for any individual student moving through the system. These Competencies should be matched with the disciplines best suited for their learning. Such a system also limits the scope of what teachers must incorporate and master to the most relevant and essential Competencies so as to prevent overload. CCR recommends the mapping between Disciplines and Competencies as described below; it is a strong suggestion about which Competencies should be taught in which discipline. These conclusions were reached based on both top-down (synthesis from research) and bottom-up (opinions from US State Teachers of the Year) approaches.

CCR is grateful to the OAK Foundation for its multi-year generous and trusting support.