21st Century Learning and Workforce Readiness
Students today need 21st century applied skills such as communication, collaboration, and innovation in order to prepare for the demands that lie ahead for them in their career and life. A decade of high-stakes testing under No Child Left Behind, engendered a narrowing of curriculum and a decrease in performance assessments. This has not helped students meet 21st century performance demands. However, a move from traditional teaching methods to a method such as Project-Based Learning may lead to better-prepared students.
The ability to collaborate well with others, especially those with differing opinions or mindsets, is a strong skill that will be required of 21st century learners. They will likely be asked to participate in more group work and collaborative projects as they progress throughout their years in school. In fact, even many college professors have restructured their courses to provide students with more opportunities for collaboration, rather than the traditional lecture. It seems that the years of "sit and get" and "drill and kill" are gone, leaving in its place new styles of learning that allow students more participation and influence over their education.
As you can see from the P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning, collaboration is an important learning and innovation skill. It's one of the big "4Cs" that we hear so much about these days. However