This the third in a four-part series around the district's 2023-24 Strategic Priorities. This week's focus is 21st Century Skills, one of the four priority areas of the Strategic Plan.
Maine has developed a set of skills that are known as Guiding Principles. These are the principles that we want all of our students to leave high school being proficient in, regardless of their aspirations beyond high school. These portable, or transferable, skills are life-long staples necessary for success in college, career, the armed forces, citizenship, and everyday life:
- Clear and Effective Communicator
- Self-Directed and Lifelong Learner
- Creative and Practical Problem Solver
- Responsible and Involved Citizen
- Integrative and Informed Thinker
A committee is currently developing a Portrait of a Learner document that will define more succinctly how these Guiding Principles, otherwise known as 21st Century Skills, can be intentionally applied throughout a student's K-12 journey. Ensuring that all Greely graduates have the overarching skill set to meet the demands and opportunities of the 21st Century is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.
This priority area includes work on the district's DRAFT Equity Plan (June 2023) pending Board approval later this Fall. This plan has been drafted by the Equity Leadership Steering Committee with the premise that we owe our students the knowledge and skills to be successful living and working in a global economy and society.
After all, the MSAD #51 vision statement includes this language:
- Creating leaders and global citizens prepared to thrive in a changing world.
- The 21st Century requires an education that prepares students to live and work in an increasingly connected world.
- Communicating with diverse audiences, bridging geographic, linguistic, ideological, and cultural barriers.
- Students progress academically, understand diverse perspectives, and contribute to local and global communities.
The world our students will soon inherit is not the same one we grew up with. It has changed rapidly over the last 25 years and we cannot afford to ignore the imperative nature of teaching transferable skills that go beyond the finite knowledge set of a bygone era.