Earlier this year I published a series of short posts on Medium highlighting skills and literacies that are essential for 21st century learning, but underemphasized in schools.
I came up with 20 ideas for how to extend, improve, and deepen the “core curriculum” beyond the “3 R’s”. By gaining a better understanding of things like digital media, communication, data, experimentation, stories, systems, design and more, we can all deepen our cross-disciplinary understanding of the world, be more informed, and be better citizens of the world.
Here are the 20 literacies:
- Digital Media and Technology
- Communicating and Amplifying Ideas
- Empathy and Interpersonal Skills
- Research, Inquiry, Verification
- Synthesis and Sensemaking
- Working with Data
- Storytelling and Narrative Design
- Global Organizations and Structures
- Systems and Networks
- Performance and Improvisation
- Shaping Spaces and Interactions
- Business, Entrepreneurship, Value
- Building Habits and Systems
- Perspectives and Framing
- Abstraction, Self-Reference, Recursion
- Creativity and Curiosity
- How to Learn
This list is by no means complete! If you have others you’d like to suggest, or further ideas for the project, I’d love to hear from you. I’ll continue to think about this as well — to periodically revise the list, or perhaps even undertake some expanded curricular experiments.
Kickstart your curiosity.
To build on this, I’m launching a product: a small PDF guide collecting all 20 of these literacies — plus a few new ones! — along with a curated collection of resources, linking to the best, most thought-provoking writing I’ve collected over the past several years, that will serve as a jumping off point for further learning on each topic.
These are not your average blog-of-the-week articles — each item on these lists is one of my all-time favorites; they’re mind-bending, sometimes challenging, and always fascinating, and this collection is something that “slightly-younger-me” would have found an absolute gold mine of learning!
Get ready to learn something new!
This guide is designed to be useful for all ages. Much of the material is accessible for kids — and great for sparking discussion amongst family and friends — but I guarantee you’ll learn something new even if you’ve read your way around the block a few times already. Together, the material forms my vision of the many things we may not learn in school, but that we all need to know.