21st Century Academic Skills

This list provides a brief explanation of academic skills that are important for students to learn, not only for academic success, but for job success. These skills are interconnected which means sometimes they overlap or include other academic skills.  For example, problem solving may well involve analytical thinking, research abilities, and critical thinking.   It is important for us to engage students in activities that allow them to develop these skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Time management:  Students who are able to use their time wisely will learn to focus on the task at hand and meet deadlines. It will relieve stress by helping students to manage their homework load.  In addition, students will become better organized and they will have learned an extremely beneficial life-long skill that helps them in all areas of their lives.
This website is great for teachers and high school students.
Analytical thinking:  Students who can think analytically are able to visualize, gather information, articulate, and problem solve.
This website addresses analytical and critical thinking with links for further exploration.
Problem solving:  Students will learn to identify and define a problem, observe and examine the problem, generate possible solutions, make a decision, and finally implement the solution.
In this website you will find a plethora of ideas and information regarding problem solving.
Research abilities:  Through research students will gain new knowledge, learn to gather and interpret information, think critically and analytically, and show evidence.  Additional benefits of research include development of planning, organizing, time management, and communication skills.
Here is a website that offers lesson plans for researching online.
Critical thinking:  Through the critical thinking process students learn to apply knowledge, make connections, think creatively, understand relevance and application of information, analyze the way they think, and present evidence.  Critical thinking promotes independent and self-directed learning; furthermore, it helps students to better understand the views and experiences of others.
Here is an amazing website for critical thinking resources and lesson plans.
Oral communication:  The ability to communicate verbally provides students a way to gain a personal connection with others and gives students immediate feedback.  It is also an effective way of communicating because students learn to use the tone, pitch, and intonation of their voice to convey meaning.  In addition, oral communication offers flexibility – that is to say, it can be used in a variety of situations easily, from simple greetings to academic presentations.
This website offers some free lesson plans for promoting oral communication in the classroom.
Reading proficiency:  The ability to read is a fundamental skill; it is needed for all subject areas and will directly affect the students’ academic progress and future job success.  Students who are proficient at reading develop their comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, speaking, and writing; it is a key element linking these skills in order to attain language fluency.
This is a great website that offers interesting and clear lesson plans.
Written communication:  Students who are able to communicate through writing can express themselves and convey thoughts and feelings.  In addition, it helps students to review and remember material they have covered in class.  It is also a useful skill to have for communicating in various ways, such as being able to compose an informal e-mail or writing a formal research paper.
Here is a website that focuses on writing skills that will benefit students, parents, and teachers.

About Me

Kimberly Patterson
Kimberly Patterson is an educational consultant with Preiss-Murphy School... more