Global initiative around assessment of 21st century skills
In Washington DC in early April, UNESCO Bangkok Programme Specialist Ramya Vivekanandan participated in a panel at the Brookings Institution’s annual research and policy symposium on “Skills for a Changing World”, which focused on the acknowledged trend in education toward a more explicit focus on 21st century skills, or transversal competencies. The event centered around the launch of the new Brookings publication Skills for a changing world: National perspectives and the global movement. This is a subject of major interest in the Asia-Pacific, with both the Education Research Institutes Network (ERI-NET) and the Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP) communities, which are coordinated by UNESCO Bangkok, having researched the trend over the past few years. Ms. Vivekanandan also provided insights from the ERI-NET and NEQMAP studies through a podcast “Teaching for the 21st century: Broader skills for global citizens” hosted by Brookings Senior Fellow Esther Care, and with Sean Slade, Director of Outreach at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), highlighting both the progress and the challenges that the region confronts. The Asia-Pacific as a region leads interest in the transversal competencies arena, demonstrating the power of countries working together on innovations in education.
In continuation of this joint effort in this area, starting in 2017 the Brookings Institution together with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) will collaborate with two regional networks over three years to explore the implications of the 21st century skills education agenda for assessment. The focus on preparing today's students more explicitly to respond to our 21st century world highlights the need not only for curriculum reform, but for associated changes in instructional strategies and approaches to assessment. This new initiative, known as "Optimizing Assessment for All", will provide an opportunity for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to collaborate on the development of assessment tasks that will help promote instruction of these skills. The work is anticipated to provide models that individual countries can adopt to continue assessment work on those skills that they most highly value. The project will start with workshops centred around constructive use of assessments, and identification by participating countries of their assessment needs and priorities. In the Asia-Pacific, this regional work will be supported by the NEQMAP Secretariat at UNESCO Bangkok.
Transversal Competencies in Education Policy and Practice (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002319/231907E.pdf)
School and Teaching Practices for 21st Century Challenges (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002440/244022E.pdf)
Preparing and Supporting Teachers in the Asia-Pacific to Meet the Challenges of 21st Century Learning (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002468/246852E.pdf)
Assessment of Transversal Competencies: Policy and Practice in the Asia- Pacific region (http://bangkok.unesco.org/content/assessment-transversal-competencies-policy-and-practice-asia-pacific-region)