iLEAD Culture: The Importance of 21st Century Skills

Editor’s note: This is one in a regular series of articles exploring the pillars and core principles of the iLEAD approach to education.

At an iLEAD school, what’s important is not only ensuring learners are receiving an academically well-rounded education, but also that they have the tools they need to succeed in an ever-changing world. That’s why we place a high priority on 21st Century Skills.

These skills are essential in a worldwide market that’s moving faster by the day, and they funnel to a key focus: A person’s ability to enact and/or adapt to change. 

Why? Because we live in a world where long-established industries are now regularly disrupted with new ideas and methodologies. Kids are preparing for work in an era when nothing is guaranteed, and it’s important to be adaptable.

When we speak about 21st Century Skills, we’re talking about those things that help learners adapt and thrive in a world that is increasingly more dependent on technology, and a global economy and workplace. The 12 essential 21st Century Skills include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Information literacy
  • Media literacy
  • Technology literacy
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Initiative
  • Productivity
  • Social skills

Through individualized instruction and project-based learning, we celebrate and foster each child’s individuality and support them in discovering their highest potential. We believe each child will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to achieve their fullest potential in preparation for college and the demands of the 21st-century workplace.

Succeeding in the 21st century calls for skill sets that go beyond basic skills mandated densely packed education standards and what’s evaluated on standardized  tests. Learners also need to build skills sets that will last a lifetime. To solve problems in our complex, fast-changing world, learners must become nimble, creative thinkers who can work well with others.

In line with the 12 skills identified above, there are “4Cs” iLEAD Schools focus on instilling in learners, as identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills: 

  • Collaboration: Learners are able to work effectively with diverse groups and exercise flexibility in making compromises to achieve common goals.
  • Creativity: Learners are able to generate and improve on original ideas and also work creatively with others.
  • Communication: Learners are able to communicate effectively across multiple media and for various purposes.
  • Critical thinking: Learners are able to analyze, evaluate, and understand complex systems and apply strategies to solve problems.

It is critical to keep in mind that those 4Cs don’t replace academic learning goals; rather, they complement and help enhance them.

Since iLEAD’s inception, we have been committed to helping develop well-rounded kids, those who are lifelong learners, empowered to lead and succeed in a changing world. By incorporating 21st Century Skills, we’re making sure they’re ready for anything they face in their journey.