Resources from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills

A rich collection of the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills can be found on the P21 Web site –including detailed explanations and white papers on the skills and educational supports in the P21 framework, research studies, publications and policy reports, the results of national surveys, and a description of the work going on in a number of U.S. states to integrate 21st century skills into the fabric of everyday learning.

A special repository of resources, called “Route 21” provides a one–stop shop for 21st century skills–related information, resources, and community tools.

You are encouraged to rate the resources you use in Route 21 and to add new resources you find useful in teaching, learning, and developing 21st century skills. The goal is for Route 21 to be a universal collection of the most useful and effective resources available on 21st century learning.

Selected Online Resources

The following are online resources the authors have found informative and useful in their work on 21st century learning. This list is not intended to be exhaustive—it is merely a selection of organizations and programs the authors have found helpful in moving aspects of the 21st century skills movement forward.

Chapter Two—The Perfect Learning Storm: Four Converging Forces

A number of high–tech corporations are making substantial philanthropic investments in global programs to attract students to technical fields and to train and certify them in technical skills, building some of the essential knowledge work skills needed in the 21st century.

These so–called academy programs provide teachers, professors, and technical institute staff the training, technology tools, and curricular resources to bring their students up to certification–level competence in a variety of technical and business fields.

Three notable examples of these academy programs:

Chapter Three—Learning and Innovation Skills

One useful online guide to resources that develop critical thinking and problem solving can be found at the Foundation for Critical Thinking.

There are a wealth of online resources for problem- and project-based learning that build skill in problem solving and critical thinking. Here are a few we find most helpful:

Chapter Four—Digital Literacy Skills

Information Literacy

Among a wealth of information literacy sources, one stands out as particularly informative and useful—the collection of online resources from the American Association of School Librarians.
These standards for 21st century learners and the accompanying resource materials clearly outline the skills needed to be an information–literate student, teacher, and librarian in our times.

Media Literacy

There are a number of helpful media literacy online resources. We’ve found these particularly useful:

ICT Literacy

The following organizations, though based in the United States, have an international presence and work toward the effective application of information and communication technologies in all aspects of education:

One particularly strong U.S. organization that has produced a series of exemplary white papers called “Class of 2020—Action Plan for Education,” which may be useful for other countries, can be found at the State Education Technology Directors Association Web site

Chapter Five—Career and Life Skills

Social and Cross–Cultural Interaction

An important resource for developing pro–social skills is the organization Educators for Social Responsibility

The Asia Society has a wealth of resources on international and cross-cultural education.

Productivity and Accountability

In addition to the many programs and courses for new and in–service teachers at education colleges around the world, a number of corporations and foundations are also investing in the professional development of primary and secondary teachers. Many of these programs provide practicing teachers the training to integrate both technology tools and 21st century skills into their teaching methods.

Here are a few prominent examples of these teacher development programs:

Leadership and Responsibility

One example of the many programs that help students develop their leadership and responsibility skills—in this case in an international context—is the Model UN program, where students simulate United Nations council meetings to resolve an international crisis—see

Chapter Eight—Retooling Schooling

Support Systems

An international organization that is pioneering large-scale assessments of some of the 21st century skills is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

From Skills to Expertise: Future Learning Frameworks

The vision of “whole learning for the whole child” has been well developed by the ASCD organization and its global networks and affiliates. Information about the Whole Child initiative can be found at