What Do Schools Need to Do to Prepare Students for the 21st Century?

Educators strive at teaching children how to write, read, and calculate. However, what about some useful lessons, about the so-called “real world”? There are no subjects as curiosity about the things around, work with a team, critical thinking and analyzing.

Schools are responsible for preparing students to live a successful and productive life when they enter the reality of the adult world. However, here the question appears: how is it possible to predict the future? I mean, teachers of the past could not know that modern world would be based on technologies that much, as well as today’s teachers can hardly figure out the needs of the future job market.


However, they need to do everything possible to prepare students for the 21st century. How to prepare children for the unknown difficulties? Let’s think about it.

Survival skills

Tony Wagner from Harvard University did research to highlight a branch of survival skills for the 21st century. To accomplish this task, Wagner has interviewed a lot of educational institutions and professionals in different business spheres.

Tony Wagner Technology & Entrepreneurship Center, Harvard University

A list of his recommendations has become a basis for this article.

It is obvious that we are unable to predict what exactly waits for our students in the future, but we can determine some common skills they will surely need. Some skills to be applied in the classroom would become the skills for 21st-century survival. Here they are.

Critical thinking and problem-solving


The basis of critical thinking is an ability to see a problem from different angles. Along with that, students have to formulate their own conclusions and look for the most effective solutions. No matter what they choose as their future career, the skills of thinking and acting quickly are necessary.

Teachers should practice the presentation of different situations and ask students to figure out the issue and suggest various approaches to solve it.

Collaboration in networks and leadership


Children should know that not every person is born as a leader. It is not that easy to find a workplace where one would work in a harmony with a team.

To prepare students, teachers have to teach them how to work in a team, but a typical approach is not enough. Thus, a group of students will hardly learn to work in a team if they will simply get a branch of tasks. It is much better to split the roles in a group instead of cutting tasks.



Since the environment we live in is pretty changeable, students should feel comfortable with the changes they meet. To help them, teachers can create a dynamic environment in a classroom and let children feel more confident in such conditions. The custom writing essays tasks, certainly, should not be the sole aim and learning tool.

Oral and written communication

To be successful in their future career, students do not have to underestimate the importance of clear and confident oral and written communication.

speaking-reading1Children should know that their future boss will hardly be amused to get an email full of grammatical errors or watch them reading a presentation of a paper.

Students are all different, and a tutor should pay special attention to help them develop survival skills. Helping them to orientate themselves in various situations and feel like their ideas are effective is the primary aim of every teacher.