21st Century Students’ Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes: Implication for Teacher Education Reform
The world in which today’s students will graduate is fundamentally different from the world in which we grew up. Unlike before, education must prepare students for the world where opportunities for success require the ability to compete and possess 21st century skills. Global education reform movements identify the 21st century students graduating skills to include global awareness, civic, business, financial, entrepreneurial, health, and environment literacy. They also require students to develop skills of creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, information, media, and technology skills. This paper explores ways Canadian education systems have responded to the needs of 21st century. Education reform in Canada in many aspects reflects reform processes occurring globally. Canada provinces have continued to target their energy and resources to significantly increase student learning and achievement levels. Education reforms have identified competencies or statements describing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes expected of all students who graduate from their public school system. Achievement of these competencies will prepare students to continue to learn throughout their lives. These 21st century competencies identified in Canadian education include critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, social and cultural responsibility, global and environmental awareness, communication, digital literacy, lifelong learning, self-direction, collaboration, leadership, and aesthetic expression. The implications of these 21st students’ competencies on education reforms are discussed.