Core Subjects and 21st Century Themes

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Mastery of core subjects and 21st century themes is essential for students in the 21st century.

Core subjects include:

  • English, reading or language arts
  • World languages
  • Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Government and Civics

In addition to these subjects, we believe schools must move beyond a focus on basic competency in core subjects to promoting understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects:

Global Awareness

  • Using 21st century skills to understand and address global issues
  • Learning from and working collaboratively with individuals representing diverse cultures, religions and lifestyles in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue in personal, work and community contexts
  • Understanding other nations and cultures, including the use of non-English languages

Financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy

  • Knowing how to make appropriate personal economic choices
  • Understanding the role of the economy in society
  • Using entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options

Civic Literacy

  • Participating effectively in civic life through knowing how to stay informed and understanding governmental processes
  • Exercising the rights and obligations of citizenship at local, state, national and global levels
  • Understanding the local and global implications of civic decisions

Health Literacy

  • Obtaining, interpreting and understanding basic health information and services and using such information and services in ways that are health enhancing
  • Understanding preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction
  • Using available information to make appropriate health-related decisions
  • Establishing and monitoring personal and family health goals
  • Understanding national and international public health and safety issues

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Framework for 21st Century Learning. Accessed June 2009.

In addition to the skills you gain in the classroom, there are many ways that you can obtain core subjects and 21st century skills outside of the classroom. Some of these ways include:

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