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This is very interesting.

The earliest mentioning of "21st Century Skills" that I can find is in the May 13, 1968 edition of the U.S. State Department Bulletin in an article called A Joint Assault on Want (58 Dep't St. Bull. 603 (1968) 
No. 1507).

This article is very much in the same vein as most articles written by the State Department during the Cold War.  This article states that the United States must spread Democracy and freedom through the developing world by filling the "wants" of these nations--if they do not have any needs, the U.S.S.R. will not be able to step in to fill them.  The article states many initiatives to do this that include family planning, assistance with agricultural production, creating a world wide commodities market, and "the use of the transistor radio and communications satellite, which can bring 21st-century skills and education to even the most remote rural village."  (Sounds similar to the role of Virtual Classes in VT)  

Anyway the article ends very interestingly...

" These constructive initiatives are the nutrients of freedom and peace. They are the things we Americans must be ready to do if we hope to keep our nation safe and free in a world of growth and change, rather than threatened and isolated in 'a world of strife. A secure world, with past differences reconciled, in which men can determine their own destinies, a world free of nuclear peril, a world without starvation and poverty, a world in control of science, not victimized by it-these are objectives worthy of a great people. Are they beyond our power to achieve?

We shall never know unless we try. And try we must, with perseverance and determination. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world so intricately interdependent that the possibility of withdrawal or isolation simply does not exist."




Rick Dustin-Eichler
Technology Curriculum Specialist
Windsor Central Supervisory Union
Woodstock, VT




On Dec 3, 2009, at 11:26 AM, Frank J. Watson wrote:

> Neil and others:
> 
> I probably did utter the phase several times in meetings, workshops, lectures during earlier times but I am not sure!! Has anyone "Goggled" it?? 
> 
> “The current and future health of America’s 21st Century Economy depends 
> directly on how broadly and deeply Americans reach a new level of 
> literacy—‘21st Century Literacy’—that includes strong academic skills, 
> thinking, reasoning, teamwork skills, and proficiency in using technology.” 
> -21st Century Workforce CommissionNational Alliance of Business
> 
> 
> Our children live in a global, digital world – a world transformed by 
> technology and human ingenuity.  Many of today’s youngsters are 
> comfortable using laptops, instant messaging, chat rooms, and cell 
> phones to connect to friends, family, and experts in local communities 
> and around the globe. Given the rapid rate of change, the vast amount 
> of information to be managed, and the influence of technology on life in 
> general, students need to acquire different, evolving skill sets to cope 
> and to thrive in this changing society. 
> The federal No Child Left Behind legislation establishes technology 
> literacy as a core foundation for learning, calling for academic 
> excellence in the context of 21st century technologies. 
> The enGauge 21st Century Skills go a step further. Advances in the 
> cognitive sciences show that learning increases significantly when 
> students are engaged in academic study through authentic, real-world 
> experiences. The enGauge  21st Century Skills build on extensive 
> bodies of research – as well as on calls from government, business, 
> and industry for higher levels of workplace readiness – to define clearly 
> what students need to thrive in today’s Digital Age. 
> 
> This is probably where I got the phase - I used the enGauge materials in several School IT audits that I did. 
> 
> 
> Take a look at  www.evalutech.sreb.org/21stcentury/whatare.asp
> 
> So the real answer is I "borrowed" the phase from others!!
> 
> Thanks Neil.
> 
> Frank
> 
> 
> 
>  
> On Dec 3, 2009, at 10:02 AM, Neil Manders wrote:
> 
>> Does anyone know who coined the term "21st Century Skills"?
>> 
>> I believe it was Frank Watson if I recall correctly ;)
>> 
>> nm
> 
> Frank J. Watson
> 1 Lochend Ln.
> Cheraw,SC 29520
> 843.537.2770
> 
> "Let's put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children."
> 
> Sitting Bull. Lakota Sioux, 1877
> 
> 
> 
>