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PA Career Ready Skills in the Classroom

The PA Career Ready Skills provide a target for instruction for all educators, stakeholders, families, and communities. These skills are not a curriculum but are to be used as a foundation for creating or reinforcing curriculum that is specific to each LEA's student population; they transcend grade levels and content areas. Career Ready Skills are not meant to be an area to be scheduled and addressed, but infused, promoted, modeled and expected throughout the family, school, and community in every aspect of a student's day. Multiple opportunities for practice and a variety of assessment strategies need to be utilized for students to internalize these skills.

Integrating these skills into the classroom does not call for a shift "from" academics "to" social and personal learning but rather is a process of creating a school and classroom community that is supportive, and responsive to the social and personal needs of all students and staff. If students are embedded in a learning process that gives them exposure to and practice with using PA Career Ready Skills with fidelity, they are much more likely to acquire and apply these skills over the course of their academic and non-academic lives. Schools that incorporate them will show increased academic achievement, improved positive social behaviors, and a decrease in conduct problems and behavior interventions.

Changing Structure of 21st Century Education

The type of skills required of our 21st Century graduates has shifted from 20th Century rote memorization tasks and tasks related to mastery of content to the ability to analyze and synthesize information, solve problems, take risks and communicate complex thoughts and work with others from varied backgrounds and cultures and more. Similarly, graduates entering the workforce are required to interact and think on a far more sophisticated level than those of employees of the 20th Century. The ability to analyze and solve problems, communicate clearly across multiple forms of media as well as collaborating as a part of a team are needed for jobs of all types.

Subject​20th Century Model
​21st Century Model
  • Memorization of low-level procedures
  • Pattern recognition
  • Ability to perform calculations by hand
  • Speed
  • Accuracy
  • Ability to perform well under pressure
  • Deeply understanding the problem
  • Structuring the problem and representing it symbolically
  • Creative problem solving
  • Pattern recognition to understand which math tools are relevant
  • Adept use of computational resources
  • Critical evaluation of first-pass results
  • Estimation, statistics, and decision-making
  • Taking chances, risking failure, and iterating to refine and perfect
  • Synthesizing results
  • Presenting/communicating complex quantitative information
  • Collaboration
  • Asking questions about complex quantitative information
Language Arts
  • Clear penmanship
  • Proper spelling and grammar
  • Sound vocabulary
  • Ability to read written materials (novels, poems, plays)
  • Ability to write in complete sentences
  • Use sound vocabulary
  • Read a wide variety of written materials (novels, poems, plays, essays, news) critically
  • Communicate clearly across multiple media forms, with a range of styles
  • Form and justify independent bold perspectives
  • Ask thoughtful questions
  • Engage in constructive debate
  • Coverage of important events and figures
  • Ability to recall important historical facts
  • Write short essays clearly recounting historical information
  • Critically analyze historical events and sources
  • Form independent views on dynamics and implications
  • Write clear and thought-provoking theses
  • Ask questions and engage in historical debate
  • Relate historical developments to current issues shaping the world we live in
  • Cover core disciplines – physics, chemistry, biology
  • Cover key definitions, formulas, and concepts
  • Gain familiarity with basic lab procedures
  • Understand how the world works
  • Be able to form and test scientific hypotheses
  • Be able to ask insightful questions and design experiments
  • Build things based on scientific principles
  • Apply principles across disciplines
  • Develop scientific creativity