|   Sep 25, 2015

Nowadays the term 21st Century Skills is being talked about more than often and here I want to discuss what it means.  The 21st Century Skills is a set of abilities that children need to develop in order to succeed in todays information age. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills lists 3 types of skills which are-1. Learning and Innovation Skills-     Creative thinking and Innovation skills    Critical thinking and Problem-solving skills    Communication and Collaboration skills2. Literacy Skills-     Information literacy    Media literacy    Information and communications technology  literacy 3. Life skills-    Flexibility and adaptability    Initiative and self direction    Social and cross-cultural skills    Productivity and accountability    Leadership and responsibility.                                                                                                                                                       Putting it in an understandable language, 21st Century learning is 20th Century learning using better and modern tools, as todays children need more than the traditional 3Rs of reading, writing and arithmetic. It includes incorporating technology into classroom experience to create a digital student and a digital teacher. In addition life skills which are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal efficiently with the demands and challenges of everyday life, are an essential component of 21st Century Skills.                               FOR PRE-SCHOOLERS -Maximum brain development occurs in the first 5 years of a childs life so we need to utilise the early years to provide the foundation to stimulate a childs creative and innovative thinking. Pre-school children should be exposed to a play-based learning environment to enable them to learn, communicate and express themselves from an early age. Learning through use of audiovisuals, picture books,  story-telling, role-playing are helpful. Toy- sharing among children including toy libraries can expose a child to a variety of toys without parents having to purchase all. Toddlers should be encouraged to keep exploring so as to stimulate overall development.                                                    FOR SCHOOL-GOING CHILDREN -Instead of the one teacher doing the talking approach emphasis should be laid on group-based discussions', giving each student an equal chance to think and ask questions and to give answers. Encourage children to represent their ideas/ learning in multiple ways e.g. using graphs, diagrams, pictures etc. Encourage project work with different topics so that each child studies the topic in details to make project and then give each child a chance to present his topic so that various topics can be learnt by the group. Children should be encouraged to cultivate a hobby of their choice as extracurricular activities play an important role in overall development of a child.                                                                                                                  Encourage, support and empower your child to cope with this competitive world so that they turn out to be happy, well-adjusted adults. 

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