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Cover of Assessing 21st Century Skills

Assessing 21st Century Skills

Summary of a Workshop


Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-21790-3ISBN-10: 0-309-21790-3


The present workshop was intended to delve more deeply into the topic of assessment. The goal for this workshop was to capitalize on the prior efforts and explore strategies for assessing the five skills identified earlier. The Committee on the Assessment of 21st Century Skills was asked to organize a workshop that reviewed the assessments and related research for each of the five skills identified at the previous workshops, with special attention to recent developments in technology-enabled assessment of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

In designing the workshop, the committee collapsed the five skills into three broad clusters as shown below:

  • Cognitive skills: nonroutine problem solving, critical thinking, systems thinking
  • Interpersonal skills: complex communication, social skills, teamwork, cultural sensitivity, dealing with diversity
  • Intrapersonal skills: self-management, time management, self-development, self-regulation, adaptability, executive functioning

The committee commissioned a set of papers to examine the research on assessing skills within each of these broad clusters and identified examples of assessments of the skills to feature at the workshop. The workshop was held in two parts. The first, convened in Irvine, California, in January 2011, was more technical in focus. The second, held in Washington, DC, in May 2011, was more policy focused. This report provides an integrated summary of the presentations and discussions from both parts of the workshop.


Rapporteur: Judith Anderson Koenig

This study was supported by Award No. N01-OD-4-2139, TO #199 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institutes of Health; and Award No. DRL-0956233 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation.

Suggested citation:

National Research Council. (2011). Assessing 21st Century Skills: Summary of a Workshop. J.A. Koenig, Rapporteur. Committee on the Assessment of 21st Century Skills. Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Copyright © 2011, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK84218PMID: 22379654DOI: 10.17226/13215


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