What Are 21st-Century Skills?

Learning to collaborate with others and connect through technology are essential skills in a knowledge-based economy.

ATC21S started with a group of more than 250 researchers across 60 institutions worldwide who categorized 21st-century skills internationally into four broad categories:

  • Ways of thinking. Creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning
  • Ways of working. Communication and collaboration
  • Tools for working. Information and communications technology (ICT) and information literacy
  • Skills for living in the world. Citizenship, life and career, and personal and social responsibility

Putting Concepts Into Practice

The ATC21S project has now moved from conceptual to practical, working with two skills that span all four categories:

  • Collaborative problem-solving. Working together to solve a common challenge, which involves the contribution and exchange of ideas, knowledge or resources to achieve the goal.
  • ICT literacy — learning in digital networks. Learning through digital means, such as social networking, ICT literacy, technological awareness and simulation. Each of these elements enables individuals to function in social networks and contribute to the development of social and intellectual capital.

Detailed results of this work have also been published in a white paper which is available from our white paper page.

  • ATC21S White Papers »

    ATC21S’ foundational research, written by more than 60 of the world’s top education researchers.
  • 21st-Century Skills »

    Learn about the critical skills students need to be successful in the digital age and beyond.
  • Watch Our Videos »

    Streaming video content featuring experts from around the globe.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Find answers to frequently asked questions about ATC21S.

    Read Our FAQs »
  • Acknowledgments

    We acknowledge that many people have contributed to our joint success.

    Acknowledgments List »
  • Progress

    Read our Project Update Reports to learn more about the progress being made.

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