Giving Compass' Take:

• In order to prepare students for an uncertain future, teachers need to build a range of broadly-applicable skills like collaboration and problem-solving. Figuring out how to best teach those skills is an essential step. 

• What schools are already successfully teaching these skills? how can successful methods be improved and spread? 

• Find out how changing school architecture could be part of the solution

Education policymakers around the world are recognizing that students need a broad range of skills such as communication, collaboration, and problem-solving in order to thrive in the future. However, what this means in practice is not clear. Revising curricula to include these skills does not address lack of understanding of the nature of the skills or how to teach the skills.

A first step is to understand how these transferable skills develop. The concept of learning progressions addresses this step. Learning progressions describe how the skills might be demonstrated, both in their early forms and in increasingly advanced forms. It is critical for teachers to be able to identify the behaviors that relate to these skills if they are to intervene at the appropriate levels of challenge.

This means that teachers need to have access to descriptions of how skills progress over time so that they can design classroom tasks that are within the zone of proximal development for their students. In this way, teachers can scaffold the learning of their students.

Read the full article on 21st-century teaching and learning by Helyn Kim and Esther Care at Brookings.