21st Century Skills
Enter into a new learning universe: what to expect when you join Qwasar programs and the Qwasar learning community.
What are 21st Century Skills?
21st-century skills are skills and abilities that have been identified as important for success in the 21st-century, particularly compared to previous centuries. They include:
- Problem solving and critical thinking
- Creativity and innovation
- Collaboration and team work
- Ability to handle complexity and complex problems
New Skills Require a New Learning Design
21st-century skills cannot be learned using old instruction methods that were designed to develop skills important in the 19th century. We need to move to active learning in order to learn and practice today’s in-demand skills.
It is madness to think that we can expect a different outcome in skills using the same method of learning that we created 200 years ago that was designed to develop skills appropriate to that period of time. Access to knowledge has changed dramatically, as has work itself.
Why Passive Learning Will Never Work
Passive learning is individual, does not require collaboration, communication, or solving problems. Information is provided to you, and there the engagement required is low. This is literally the opposite of work in the digital economy, particularly for software engineers, product managers, and digital marketers.
Just like sports, music, surgery, carpentry, and so much more, you don’t learn skills by sitting in a classroom, listening to a lecture, or watching a video. You learn by DOING. You learn through practice, trial and error, by developing more efficient methods for problem solving after getting frustrated over and over again at your inefficient problem-solving. No type of passive learning will develop 21st-century skills.
21st Century Skills From the Workplace
We took the workplace and put it inside training programs. In order to reduce the skills gap and to help learners develop 21st-century skills that the workplace demands, we essentially took the workplace and put it inside training programs. Learners practice work they would do in a job before they get employed, meaning we, they, and employers can have confidence that learners are workplace-ready.
We use projects, group work, and role-play combined with a calculated learning growth pathway that enables a learner to grow in their skills. They start with simple, basic projects, then progress to more difficult and complex projects, challenging them enough but not pushing too far beyond their zone of proximal development.
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