15 Sep 2013

7 21st Century Learner Skills For Social Studies

I teach social studies at the Yr 9 (13 yrs old) level based developing civic competence, encouraging the ability to be an active contributor to communities that learners are a part of.

This does not happen through content alone.  In New Zealand our curriculum is driven by
Achievement Objectives that are based around understanding of concepts eg, People and Places, How People Use Resources, How People Make Decision.

I use these concepts as the content to drive the skills I believe underpin this understanding and are needed to be a successful and active contributor to their communities.

  1. Problem Solving - A strategy developing process for reaching solutions
  2. Decision Making - Process selecting an appropriate course of action among several alternatives
  3. Collaboration - Working together with other to achieve a common goal
  4. Creative Thinking - Bringing into existence an idea that is new to you and adds value
  5. Analyzing PerspectivesExploring multiple points of view to a topic or situation
  6. Communication - Conveying and receiving of information using a variety of methods
  7. Critical Thinking - Reflective reasoning about beliefs and actions

I am still in a formative stage of implementing this skills programme, so far it has been really effective at engaging students and getting them thinking beyond the content.

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