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CMS 21st Century Skills

(Adapted from Partnership for 21st Century Skills)

Critical Learning and Innovation Skills

Creativity and Innovation

Think Creatively

  • Use a wide range of idea creation techniques (such as brainstorming)
  • Create new and worthwhile ideas (both incremental and radical concepts)
  • Elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts

Work Creatively with Others

  • Develop, implement and communicate new ideas to others effectively
  • Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work
  • Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the real world limits to adopting new ideas
  • View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes

Implement Innovations

  • Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur
  • Value diversity and mutual respect
  • Identify and analyze different points of view to gain understanding of multiple perspectives
  • Develop interpersonal skills in conflict resolution and group decision-making
  • Actively seek to understand and value the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of those offering and receiving service
  • Recognize and overcome stereotypes
  • Be capable of generating ideas during the planning, implementation, and evaluation process of the service learning experience
  • Collaborate to establish a shared vision and set common goals to address community needs
  • Collaboratively develop and implement action plans to meet specified goals
  • Learn and understand the community assets and needs, and view each other as valued resources
  • Develop their decision-making process throughout the service learning experiences
  • Be involved in creating an environment that supports trust and open expression of ideas
  • Acquire the knowledge and skills to enhance youth leadership and decision-making

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Reason Effectively

  • Use various types of reasoning (such as inductive and deductive) as appropriate to the situation

Use Systems Thinking

  • Analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systems

Make Judgments and Decisions

  • Effectively analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs
  • Analyze and evaluate major alternative points of view
  • Synthesize and make connections between information and arguments
  • Interpret information and draw conclusions based on the best analysis
  • Reflect critically on learning experiences and processes

Solve Problems

  • Solve different kinds of non-familiar problems in both conventional and innovative ways
  • Identify and ask significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions
  • Reinforce the ability to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability
  • Experience the processes of investigating community needs, preparing for service, action, reflection, demonstration of learning and impacts, and celebration
  • Address identified community needs and achieve learning outcomes though time
  • Demonstrate the habit of turning problems into opportunities to make positive change

Communication and Collaboration

Communicate Clearly

  • Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
  • Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes and intentions
  • Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate, and persuade)
  • Utilize multiple media and technologies, and know how to judge their effectiveness a priori as well as assess their impact
  • Communicate effectively in diverse environments (including multilingual)

Collaborate with Others

  • Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams
  • Exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal
  • Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work and value the individual contributions made by each team member

Media and Technology Skills

Information Literacy

  • Access and evaluate information
  • Access information efficiently (time) and effectively (sources)
  • Evaluate information critically and competently
  • Use and manage information
  • Use information accurately and creatively for the issue or problem at hand
  • Manage the flow of information from a wide variety of sources
  • Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information

Media Literacy

  • Analyze media
  • Understand how and why media messages are constructed and for what purposes
  • Examine how individuals interpret messages differently, how values and points of view are included or excluded, and how media can influence beliefs and behaviors
  • Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of media
  • Create media products
  • Understand and use the most appropriate media creation tools, characteristics, and conventions
  • Understand and effectively utilize the most appropriate expressions and interpretations in diverse multicultural environments

Information Technology Literacy

  • Apply technology effectively
  • Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate information
  • Use digital technologies (computers, PDAs, media players, GPS, etc.), communication/networking tools and social networks appropriately to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information to successfully function in a knowledge economy
  • Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information technologies

Self-Development and Career Skills

Flexibility and Adaptability

Adapt to Change

  • Adapt to varied roles, jobs, responsibilities, schedules, and context
  • Work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities

Be Flexible

  • Incorporate feedback effectively
  • Deal positively with praise, setbacks, and criticism
  • Understand, negotiate, and balance diverse views and beliefs to reach workable solutions particularly in multicultural environments

Initiative and Self-Direction

Manage Goals and Time

  • Set goals with tangible and intangible success criteria
  • Balance tactical (short-term) and strategic (long-term) goals
  • Use time and manage workload efficiently

Work Independently

  • Monitor, define, prioritize, and complete tasks without direct oversight

Be Self-directed Learners

  • Go beyond basic mastery of skills and/or curriculum to explore and expand one’s own learning and opportunities to gain expertise
  • Demonstrate initiative to advance skill levels towards a professional level
  • Demonstrate commitment to learning as a lifelong process
  • Reflect critically on past experiences in order to inform future progress
  • Engage in meaningful and personally relevant service activities
  • Understand their service experiences in the context of the underlying societal issues being addressed
  • Become aware that their service leads to attainable and visible outcomes that are valued by those being served
  • Use their academic and/or programmatic curriculum
  • Learn how to transfer knowledge and skills from one setting to another

Social and Cross-Cultural Skills

Interact Effectively with Others

  • Know when it is appropriate to listen and when to speak
  • Conduct themselves in a respectable, professional manner

Work Effectively in Diverse Teams

  • Respect cultural differences and work effectively with people from a range of social and cultural backgrounds
  • Respond open-mindedly to different ideas and values
  • Leverage social and cultural differences to create new ideas and increase both innovation and quality of work
  • Manage deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society
  • Reflect in a variety of verbal, written, artistic, and nonverbal activities to demonstrate understanding and changes in participants’ knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes, before, during, and after the service experience
  • Think deeply about complex community problems and alternative solutions
  • Change perspective to increase their understanding of different communities
  • Examine their preconceptions and assumptions in order to explore and understand their roles and responsibilities as citizens
  • Learn a variety of social and civic issues related to their service-learning experience so that participants understand connections to public policy and civic life
  • Articulate and demonstrate appreciation for cross-cultural similarities and differences
  • Demonstrate their ability to truly value and learn from the life experiences and cultures of others
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with people who present different perspectives and to synergistically communicate and cooperate to create shared visions, understandings, and policies far richer than anything that could have been achieved alone
  • Develop the ability to truly understand and respect, if not agree with, the conclusions of others. Be able to see the relationship of those conclusions to the person’s experiences, needs, values, and goals.

Productivity and Accountability

Manage Projects

  • Set and meet goals, even in the face of obstacles and competing pressure
  • Prioritize, plan, and manage work to achieve the intended result

Produce Results

Demonstrate additional attributes associated with producing high quality products including the abilities to:

  • Work positively and ethically
  • Manage time and projects effectively
  • Multi-task
  • Participate actively, as well as be reliable and punctual
  • Present oneself professionally and with proper etiquette
  • Collaborate and cooperate effectively with teams
  • Respect and appreciate team diversity
  • Be accountable for results

Conscience/Leadership and Responsibility

Guide and Lead Others

  • Inspire others to reach their very best via example and selflessness
  • Demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior in using influence and power
  • Use interpersonal and problem-solving skills to influence and guide others toward a goal
  • Leverage strengths of others to accomplish a common goal

Be Responsible to Others

  • Act responsibly with the interest of the larger community in mind
  • Make a contribution that solves more than one problem at a time and minimizes the creation of new problems (create value)
  • Tolerate the discomfort and uncertainty that learning brings
  • Do things they haven’t done before because that is what it takes to accomplish their goals, solve a problem, or be true to their passion. They will reflect on the fact that that is how they learn and grow.
  • Appreciate change in their lives
  • Embrace making change, improving, innovating, and experimenting
  • Engage in new experiences in “unknown territory” for the purpose of reaching their goals
  • Recognize and work to dismantle prejudice and discrimination
  • Recognize and value the strength in diversity
  • Recognize self worth and rootedness in one’s own culture and community
  • Developing perspective consciousness
  • Articulate all sides of an issue by demonstrating a strong foundation of understanding bias and other points of view
  • Develop the capacity to empathize with, and experience, the outlook and emotions of another being by putting themselves “in someone else’s shoes” and expressing what it is like to see the world from that perspective
  • Identify their own mental models about the world and recognize that mental models are guiding constructs that change over time with new knowledge and applied insight