Author(s): Russell, Christina A.
Organisation(s): Policy Studies Associates (USA); Asia Society
Pages: 19 p.
To enable deeper investigation of challenges and solutions related to education policy and practice, in 2014 the Global Cities Education Network (GCEN) created working groups grounded in priority issues identified by cities, starting with working groups on teacher professional learning and career and technical education. In November 2015, Asia Society convened the first meeting of a third working group focused on 21st century competencies in conjunction with a GCEN convening in Shanghai, China. This working group included representatives from six urban systems in the United States and in Asia, who came together to share experiences and discuss challenges for supporting the development of 21st century competencies for students. System representatives included both leaders of the formal learning system (e.g., school district leaders) and of the non-formal learning system (e.g., leaders of expanded learning, co-curricular, or extracurricular programs that take place after school). The goal of the working group is to explore system-building approaches—including system-building across the formal and non-formal sectors—to integrating 21st century competencies throughout a student’s educational experience, acknowledging the importance of these competencies for all students as a fundamental, integrated part of learning. Although many efforts focus on the adoption and integration of 21st century competencies at the classroom, program intervention, or school level, less attention has been paid to creating system-wide structures for building capacity and sustaining approaches for supporting the development of these competencies for all students through the core education system rather than through separate programs or add-on interventions. That system-building goal is the focus of the working group and of this brief.