21st Century Skills - Grades 3-5
NOTE: The Essential Concepts and Skills listed in Social Studies - Political Science/Civic Literacy are the same as the Essential Concepts and Skills listed in 21st Century - Civic Literacy
Political science is the study of power and authority through the examination of political processes, governmental institutions, and human behavior in a civil society. In this context the study of civics is understood to include the form and function of government. Civic literacy encompasses civics but also addresses the individual's social and political participation.
Essential Concepts and/or Skills
Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action
- Understand what it means to be a citizen.
- Understand why civic responsibility is important and know examples of civic responsibility.
- Understand that Congress passes laws to protect individual rights.
- Understand how people can participate in their government.
- Understand what political leaders do and why leadership is necessary in a democracy.
- Understand opportunities for leadership and public service in the student’s own classroom, school, community, state, and the nation.
- Understand the importance of voluntarism as a characteristic of American society.
Understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the enduring values and principles of democracy and republicanism
- Understand the fundamental values and principles of American democracy.
- Understand the difference between power and authority.
- Understand fundamental values and principles of American democracy are expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, as well as in American songs, stories, and speeches.
- Understand the costs and benefits of diversity in American society.
Understand the purpose and function of each of the three branches of government established by the Constitution
- Understand that the legislative branch passes laws to protect individual rights.
- Understand that the executive branch carries out and enforces laws to protect individual rights.
- Understand that the judicial branch, headed by the Supreme Court, makes decisions concerning the law that aim to protect individual rights.
Understand the differences among local, state, and national government
- Understand the roles of local, state and national government and the roles of representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor and President.
- Understand major services provided by national, state, and local governments.
- Understand how national, state and local government officials are chosen.
Understand the role of the United States in current world affairs
- Understand that the world is divided into many different nations with each one having its own government.
- Understand the major ways nations interact with each other such as trade, diplomacy, cultural contacts, treaties or agreements, and use of military force.
- Understand factors that contribute to cooperation and cause disputes within and among groups and nations.
The vision statement developed by the Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Skills Committee states: Each Iowa student will have the academic and social skills as well as the personal characteristics that empower them to be productive, caring, and competent citizens.This is consistent with the view that good employees may not be good citizens but good citizens always make good employees.
The employability essential concepts and skill sets represent universal content. They (1) contribute to outcomes that are valued for individuals and for society; (2) bring benefits in a wide variety of contexts and apply to multiple areas of life; and (3) are of use to all individuals, deemphasizing competencies of use only in a specific trade, occupation or walk of life. (OECD, 2005*).
Employers are demanding that employees demonstrate the skills to work productively in teams, communicate effectively, think innovatively and solve problems creatively. An overwhelming number of students leave their educational experience unprepared for the world of work. The employability concepts connect content and those dispositions required for success in life beyond school.
According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, “…academic and cognitive skills, as essential as they are, are not all that is necessary for a successful life. In our global technological age, young people also need to work with and learn from diverse groups, be flexible in a variety of work and social settings, and be adaptable to changing times. They need to demonstrate leadership and take responsibility for results, show initiative and resourcefulness, and be productive and accountable for their actions.”
Integration of these critical skills across curricular areas will allow students to make the transition from the classroom to their roles as citizens and workers in an increasingly complex and unknown global market. The availability of a knowledgeable and skilled citizenry will enhance the quality of life and result in a profitable economy for Iowa, our nation, and our world.
*The Definition and Selection of Key Competencies, or the DeSeCo, Project. Overview. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2005
Essential Concepts and/or Skills
Communicate and work productively with others emphasizing collaboration and cultural awareness to produce quality work
Work appropriately and productively with others.
- Set appropriate goals.
- Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly in writing and speaking.
- Demonstrate respectful behavior to group members.
- Exhibit appropriate behavior when faced with conflict.
- Identify strengths and weaknesses.
- Interact positively as a team member.
- Respect other’s ideas.
- Cooperate with others in a group setting.
- Acknowledge quality efforts of self and others.
Use different perspectives to increase innovation and the quality of work.
- Generate ideas with group members.
- Recognize the opinions and feelings of others.
- Appropriately accept constructive feedback.
Use appropriate principles of communication effectively.
- Are active listeners.
- Use information to make decisions.
- Ask appropriate questions.
- Read, understand and create information in a variety of forms.
- Follow directions.
- Use technology to communicate.
- Use various channels of communication.
- Express ideas.
Adjust to various roles and responsibilities and understand the need to be flexible to change
Adapt to varied roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
- Work well independently and with others.
- Understand and accept mistakes as a natural part of learning.
- Complete tasks and projects.
- Identify the stages needed to complete a project or task.
- Develop an awareness of effective strategies to improve project or task completion.
- Listen with an open mind.
- Accept and appreciate diversity.
Works effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities.
- Understand that change occurs frequently.
- Demonstrate flexibility in adapting to change.
- Recognize different levels of structure.
- Work under pressure.
- Understand the need to adapt to changing requirements and information.
- Are open to change.
- Understand how to approach handling conflict using a win-win perspective.
Demonstrate appropriate risk-taking.
- Consider alternative or new ways to complete tasks.
- Identify alternative ways to achieve goals.
- Understand when to ask ‘What if?’
- Approach brainstorming with an open mind.
- Determine pros and cons of others’ suggestions.
Practice leadership skills, and demonstrate integrity, ethical behavior, and social responsibility in all activities
Use interpersonal skills to influence and guide others toward a goal.
- Provide positive encouragement to others on their work.
- Relate positively to others.
- Understand methods to influence others towards goals.
- Understand how to listen to others and to share own ideas.
- Accept and offer constructive comments.
Leverage the strengths of others to accomplish a common goal.
- Demonstrate listening, speaking and questioning skills.
- Work as a member of a team to complete tasks.
- Acknowledge views and ideas of others.
- Understand the value of compromise.
Demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior.
- Take responsibility for own actions.
- Demonstrate trustworthiness and honesty.
- Identify important core values.
Demonstrate mental, physical, and emotional preparedness to accomplish the task.
- Identify and organizes materials required for the task.
- Show willingness to prepare and stays focused on task.
Demonstrate initiative, creativity, self-direction, and entrepreneurial thinking to produce successful outcomes
Perform work without oversight.
- Assess the task and identify actions that must be taken.
- Understand cause-effect relationship in completing sequential steps.
- Understand that incomplete work is not acceptable.
- Understand the importance of self-confidence.
- Know how to access resources.
- Formulate solutions.
- Demonstrate commitment to self/group/society.
Use time efficiently to manage workload.
- Segment task into steps.
- With guidance, create timelines to facilitate completion of tasks.
- With guidance, prioritize steps in proper order.
Assess mastery of skills.
- Understand the task.
- Identify skills needed to be successful at the task.
- Know when to share knowledge appropriately.
Set and achieve high standards and goals.
- Understand and write incremental steps toward accomplishing goals.
- Set short-term goals.
- Engage in activities to improve skills that are relative to goals.
- Explore core values of personal importance.
- Evaluate progress toward accomplishing goals.
Engage in effective problem solving process.
- With assistance, transfer and make connections learning from one content area to another.
- Understand the importance of key partners and resources in solving problems.
- Evaluate the resources in context of the problem.
- Apply problem solving techniques to various situations.
- Identify a course of action in order to solve the problem.
- Implement solution with follow-up.
Demonstrate productivity and accountability by producing quality work
Deliver quality job performance on time.
- Produce quality work in a timely manner.
- Make revisions in work based on self-analysis and/or recommendations.
- Work with commitment to produce a quality product.
- Demonstrate ethical behavior and responsibility.
Demonstrate accountability for individual performance.
- Come to activities/work consistently and on time.
- Are prepared for all activities/work.
- Stay actively engaged when completing work.
- Are able to edit their work.
- Learn from mistakes.
- Are reliable co-workers in a group setting.
Financial literacy is closely connected to an individual’s emotional, personal, social, economic, and employment success. An individual needs to understand the basics of money management, and use financial resources appropriately to function well in society at a personal, professional, business and community level. In a broader sense, students need to identify and discuss significant economic issues, important to society and to the world. They should practice examining the consequences of change in economic conditions and public policies. (The enGauge 21st Century Skills, 2003)
As society changes, the skills needed to deal with the complexities of life also change. The meaning of skills like financial literacy may change to reflect context, or current realities. Financial literacy, however, is about empowerment, the ability “…to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society…” (ICT Literacy Panel, 2002)
The vision articulated by the Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Skills Committee states: Each student in Iowa’s schools will learn financial literacy concepts, enabling them to succeed in a complex global environment. The essential concepts and skill sets for financial literacy address the requirements outlined in Iowa legislation Senate File 2216. They also reflect broader, universal skills that cultivate critical thinking and responsible citizenship. They provide us the framework and knowledge to be proactive. When we accept responsibility for our actions because they have consequences for other people as well as for our personal success, we will also understand what it means to solve the problems and face the collective challenges of an increasingly diverse and interconnected world. (OECD, 2005*)
*The Definition and Selection of Key Competencies, or the DeSeCo, Project. Overview. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2005
Essential Concepts and/or Skills
Create long and short term goals based on a prioritization of wants and needs
Develop short-term and long-term financial goals.
- Distinguish between short- and long-term goals.
- Explain the importance of goal setting, how to prioritize those goals, and the need for both short- and long-term goals.
- Create a timely, attainable goal.
Understanding needs vs. wants.
- Explain difference between wants and needs.
- Explain prioritization factors to consider when determining expense-related decisions.
Recognize how one's personal career choice and attitude can impact financial planning decisions
Develop a realistic spending plan for financial independence.
- Illustrate that career choice, education and skills, and economic conditions affect income.
- Determine own attitudes and behaviors toward spending, saving, and investing.
- Recognize sources of money (earned or gifted).
Understand various sources of compensation.
- Recognize multiple sources of income as well as alternative sources (family members, neighbors, friends for jobs or gifts).
- Recognize other types of compensation (bartering, trading).
Understand the distribution of resources.
- Explain the benefits of savings versus spending.
- Describe the impact of spending on savings.
Understand financial instruments.
- Identify the different ways to pay for items (cash, check, credit, and debit).
- Explain how non-cash methods of payment still require adequate funds.
Identify the concept of debt and an individual's responsibility for that debt
Identify responsible credit management.
- Recognize the uses of credit.
- Identify appropriate times to use credit.
Understand different types of debt.
- Recognize that borrowing is a debt to be repaid.
- Explain the role of interest regarding debt.
Understand rights and responsibilities as borrowers.
- Recognize the importance of repaying a debt.
- Explain potential consequences for not returning a borrowed item.
- Explain the positive consequences of repaying debt on time.
Recognize common risks to one's identity and demonstrate the ability to protect that identity
Establish strategies for protection of identity.
- Explain what it means to have a personal financial identity stolen.
- Identify ways of protecting their identity.
Recognize different types of insurance.
- Describe what insurance is and why it is important.
- Describe the impact of losses, financial and non-financial.
Recognize different types of non-insurance protection.
- Recognize the importance of written documentation and other types of protection available for students.
- Explain the various people who provide protection and the roles they play.
Determine the importance of saving/investing in relation to future needs
Recognize investment options.
- Identify various ways to save.
- Explain the importance of saving in relation to future needs.
Distinguish investment options
- Identify various options for saving/investing.
Understand the relationship between investment risk and return.
- Explain how an investment can grow in value.
- Explain how an investment might decrease in value.
Recognize that spending choices differ between groups of people and settings
Recognize the local, state, national, and international impact of personal financial habits and actions.
- Recognize that different people have different needs, wants, and financial priorities
- Explain how one’s actions impact others.
Demonstrate responsible financial behaviors, at the personal, local, state, national, and international levels.
- Recognize consequences for both good and bad decisions.
- Recognize that an individual’s behavior impacts the decisions and consequences of the broader community.
Health literacy, considered a 21st Century theme by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, is, “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (Nielsen-Bohlman, 2004). A health literate person is able to make appropriate decisions about their health as he or she progresses through life, as health care changes, and as societal norms change. The benefits of being health literate influence the full range of life’s activities—home, school, work, society and culture (Zarcadoolas, 2005).
Lack of physical activity and exercise, poor nutritional choices, increased violence, increased substance abuse and other high risk behaviors are serious threats to living a healthy, active life. The essential concepts and skill sets for health literacy provide a framework for building capacity among Iowa’s students to think critically about the decisions that affect health status for themselves, their families and their communities. Learning the concepts will form the knowledge base for the development of attitudes and habits of mind that will lead students to take responsibility for their personal health status. This proactive approach will have profound effects on families and society.
The essential concepts reflect the belief that children need to assess media messages at young ages and then develop critical evaluation skills as they intellectually, emotionally and socially mature (Zarcadoolas, 2005). Children must also take an active role in accessing and appropriately using information which affects their health (Nutbeam, 2000, St. Leger, 2001). Therefore, it is important to integrate the essential concepts and skill sets for health literacy across content areas, providing relevant contexts, problem based and service learning experiences. This will provide students opportunities to practice systemic thinking and problem solving processes that will lead to the creative solutions and proactive policies necessary to enhance health status in an interconnected, global society.
Essential Concepts and/or Skills
Obtain, interpret, understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family, and community health
Know and use concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.
- Describe the influence of risk and protective factors.
- Identify examples of physical, emotional, intellectual, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual wellness during childhood.
- Analyze how heredity, environment and personal health are related.
- Explain proper prevention/management of health crises.
- Identify where to find help with health care when needed.
- Describe the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems.
- Identify how personal choices impact health and disease prevention.
- Describe preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction.
Analyze influencing factors on health enhancing behaviors.
- Describe how diverse families, peers, cultural practices and attitudes influence health related decisions.
- Describe how media, technology, research and medical advances impact health.
- Recognize how national and international public health and safety issues affect personal and family health status.
Utilize interactive literacy and social skills to establish personal family, and community health goals
Demonstrate social and communication skills that enhance health and increase safety.
- Demonstrate appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication skills to enhance health of self and others.
- Practice strategies to manage or resolve conflict.
- State methods of obtaining help for self and others.
- Demonstrate ways to communicate care, consideration, empathy and respect for self and others.
Advocate for personal, family and community health.
- Identify personal, family and community health needs.
- Demonstrate how to influence and support others to make positive health choices.
- Describe ways to improve family and community health.
- Articulate effective communication related to health care practices.
- Use assertive communications skills to consistently advocate for a healthy, violence-free environment.
Demonstrate critical literacy/thinking skills related to personal, family, and community wellness
Demonstrate decision making skills.
- Explain different approaches to making decisions.
- Describe the effectiveness of health-related decisions.
- Demonstrate the ability to seek assistance when making health related decisions.
- Recognize that health related decisions have an impact on individual, family, community, and environment.
Demonstrate goal-setting skills.
- Develop goals to enhance health status.
Recognize that media and other influences affect personal, family and community health
Analyze the influence of family, peers, health professionals, culture, media, technology, and other health factors.
- Demonstrate appropriate responses to negative and positive health influences.
- Recognize public health policies that aid in the prevention and maintenance of school and community health.
- Describe the influence of cultural diversities on health behaviors.
- Explain how information from school and family influences health.
- Identify characteristics of valid health information sources.
- Recognize the techniques used by print and non-print media sources.
Access valid information, products and services.
- Identify factors that influence the selection of health products and services.
Demonstrate behaviors that foster healthy, active lifestyles for individuals and the benefit of society
Achieve and maintain health enhancing level of physical activity.
- Identify personal physical strengths and weaknesses.
- Engage in physical activities to improve fitness components.
Practice preventive health behaviors.
- Demonstrate appropriate and effective stress management.
- Assess risk factors that contribute to healthy choices.
- Choose healthy foods.
- Demonstrate behaviors that contribute to holistic wellness for individuals, families and communities.
Each Iowa student will be empowered with the technological knowledge and skills to learn effective and live productively.
This vision, developed by the Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Skills Committee, reflects the fact that Iowans in the 21st century live in a global environment marked by a high use of technology, giving citizens and workers the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions as never before. Iowa's students live in a media-suffused environment, marked by access to an abundance of information and rapidly changing technological tools useful for critical thinking and problem solving processes. Therefore, technological literacy supports preparation of students as global citizens capable of self-directed learning in preparation for an ever-changing world.
Regardless of current realities, literacy in any context is defined as the ability "...to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society..." (ICT Literacy Panel, 2002) "....When we teach only for facts ... (specifics)... rather than for how to go beyond facts, we teach students how to get out of date." (Sternberg, 2008) This statement is particularly significant when applied to technology literacy. The Iowa essential concepts for technology literacy reflect broad, universal processes and skills.
Although it is important that current technologies be integrated into all teachers' classroom practices and all students' experiences, it is also important to understand the broader implications of the transforming influence of technology on society. For example, creativity, innovation and systemic thinking are requirements for success in this environment. Technology is changing the way we think about and do our work. It has changed our relationships with information and given us access to resources, economic and professional, that were unimaginable just a few years ago
Technological advances also present societal challenges. It is essential that students have a deep understanding of technology literacy concepts in order to deal with technology's challenges and implications. It is also essential that educators partner with "...digital natives"..., teaching ways to mediate the challenges, and to realize the potential of technology literacy. (Palfrey and Gasser, 2008)
Essential Concepts and/or Skills
Use technology resources to create original products, identify patterns and problems, make predictions, and propose solutions
- Demonstrate creative thinking to generate new ideas and products using a variety of technology tools and resources.
- Create and share new ideas, products, and processes related to curriculum content.
- Work individually and collaboratively to create, display, publish, or perform media-rich products.
- Use models and simulations to identify problems and propose solutions.
- Use technology resources to gather and depict data, recognize trends, and project outcomes.
Use interactive technologies in a collaborative group to produce digital presentations or products in a curricular area
- Use a variety of technology tools to work collaboratively with others inside and outside the classroom.
- Use telecommunication tools efficiently to communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences.
- Access remote information using technology.
- Engage in learning activities with learners from other countries and/or cultures
- Appropriately contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems using technology.
Utilize digital tools and resources to investigate real-world issues, answer questions, or solve problems
- Create a plan or process that utilizes digital tools and resources to investigate and answer issues, questions, or problems.
- Locate, organize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
- Access information for specific purposes, and assess the validity of the information source.
- Identify, select, and organize data. Discuss and describe the results.
Use technological resources to develop and refine questions for investigation
- Choosing from a variety of real-world issues and/or problems, use technological resources to develop and refine questions for investigation.
- Use technological resources to conduct research and complete a project.
- Identify trends or solutions or assist students in making decisions.
- Identify and explore diverse perspectives and processes to find multiple solutions to problems.
Understand and practice appropriate, legal, and safe uses of technology for lifelong learning
- Demonstrate awareness of the dangers of sharing personal information with others.
- Demonstrate an understanding of what electronic theft and plagiarism are and why they are harmful.
- Identify the positive values of using technology to accomplish tasks.
- Use technology to explore and pursue personal interests.
- Show others how to use new technologies, and use technology in a way that assists, rather than prevents, others from learning.
Understand technology hardware and software system operations and their application
- Use everyday technology processes, hardware, and software
- Select the most efficient and appropriate technology tool for a specific task.
- Begin to identify the source of a problem with technology, and, if necessary, identify the appropriate support personnel.
- Apply prior knowledge of technologies to new technologies.