Building 21st Century Skills
Earlier in this section, we learned about the relationship between 21st century skills and project-based learning. Click here to review this page before you continue reading. When students take part in a civic learning and engagement project, they are also using 21st century skills. Click on the concepts below to see how civic learning and engagement can build upon 21st century skills.
Digital Age Literacy
When students research civics questions, they usually make use of the Web and exercise both visual and information literacies. The varied and extensive content found on the Web requires youth to familiarize themselves with the ever-changing technologies available and utilize the most reliable resources in their research. At the same time, depending on the project undertaken, they may need to collaborate with a wide range of groups and individuals from many backgrounds and ethnicities, a necessity in today’s world.
Civic learning and engagement requires young people to communicate and collaborate with both governmental and community organizations in order to lead an effort of mutual importance. Young people have the added challenge of convincing adults to take them seriously enough to listen to and consider their ideas.
Civic learning and engagement is a student-led, problem-solving activity. At its best, it requires not only logical but also political thinking and action. Strategy and innovation are increasingly important characteristics for fulfilling the jobs of the future.
As with all project-based learning, civic learning and engagement requires an ability to think through, plan and manage a process within a time frame. The quality of the project’s outcome is critical because the impact is felt by multiple community stake holders, not just the students undertaking the project.