New framework helps work 21st-century skills into English classes

English teachers now have a free resource to help them infuse so-called 21st-century skills into their curriculum, thanks to a collaboration between the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). This new resource—a framework that provides teacher-created models for how 21st-century skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity can be incorporated into English classes—is part of P21’s effort to create curriculum maps that demonstrate how to teach key 21st-century skills in the classroom. By offering sample lessons that combine 21st-century skills with interdisciplinary themes such as global awareness and civic, economic, and entrepreneurial literacy, the new 21st Century Skills English Map gives concrete examples of how to align teaching and learning with the standards of the 21st century. “This framework, which includes examples taken directly from proven classroom practices, represents an exciting tool for teachers and students as they move toward a 21st-century education system,” said Kylene Beers, NCTE president. The map cites specific student outcomes and provides models that aim to help student achievement in grades four, eight, and 12.