A report published in September by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills includes critical thinking and information management skills as vital for international competitiveness. It was published before Lehmann Brothers folded, but starts "Americans are deeply concerned about their present and future prospects in a time of economic uncertainty" ... Other "calls to action" in US education have been, for example, relatively low scoring for US 15-year-olds in the international PISA (Programme for Student Assessment) tests. Information Literacy is included as one of the 21st Century skills (see my next post for the full list, or obviously you can look at the website). The Partnership includes media and technology companies, as well as the Educational Testing Service and some library organisations (see http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/index.php ).
One quote is: "Thinking critically and making judgments about the barrage of information that comes their way every day—on the Web, in the media, in homes, workplaces and everywhere else. Critical thinking empowers Americans to assess the credibility, accuracy and value of information, analyze and evaluate information, make reasoned decisions and take purposeful actio."
Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2008) 21st Century Skills,Education & Competitiveness: A Resource and Policy Guide. Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
Photo by Sheila Webber: boats on te Nervion, September 2008