21st century employability skills (2020)

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Michaela Horvathova—Center for Curriculum Redesign

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Facing the challenges of the 21st century requires deliberate effort to cultivate the competencies that students need to respond to the demands of the labour market. This study explores how fit-for-purpose the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) are for teaching the skills that will prepare graduates for future employment and a rapidly-changing world. The primary components of the study included a literature review to identify global workforce trends as well as the skills workers need to adapt, and a curriculum mapping analysis to identify the extent to which key employability skills are covered in DP and CP curriculum documents. The literature review indicated that an increased number of occupations in the future will involve competencies such as complex problem-solving and creative thinking. The curriculum content mapping of CP and DP documents demonstrated that there are some competencies that are well integrated in the existing intended curricula and others that are not represented as fully. The top four competencies identified in the curriculum documents included communication, ethics, mindfulness and critical thinking, while the bottom four were growth mindset, curiosity, courage and resilience. Innovative pedagogies and changes in teaching practice will be an important component in developing key competencies in students.

Research summary (PDF, 3.3 MB)

Full report (PDF, 6.1 MB)