One way to Understand 21st Century Education Requirements.


I came across a 1991 U.S. Department of Labor Report called, “What Work Requires.”  (I just went to check the link and it didn’t work.  Bummer.  But I at least saved it.  See below.)

I thought it right on target with what I want the “Learning Community” to do.

I disagree a bit with their separation of Systems and Technology into two different “Competencies.”  But I understand why they did it and we need more discussion about it.  I agree those the are competencies.  I disagree they need to be in two different groups.  (But, it is not that critical.)

This is the way the @lantis Learning Community is Structured.


The report identified 5 Competencies and 3 Foundation of skills and personal qualities that are needed to thrive in the 21st Century.

COMPETENCIES – effective workers can productively use:

Resources – allocating time, money, materials, space, and staff

Interpersonal Skills – communication, working on teams, teaching others, serving customers, leading, negotiating, and working well with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. 

Information – acquiring and evaluating data, organizing and maintaining files, interpreting and communicating, and using computers to process information

Systems – understanding social, organizational, and technological systems, monitoring and correcting performance, and designing or improving systems

Technology – selecting equipment and tools, applying technology to specific tasks, and maintaining and troubleshooting technologies.

THE FOUNDATION – competence requires: 

Basic Skills – reading, writing, arithmetic and mathematics, speaking, and listening

Thinking Skills – thinking creatively, making decisions, solving problems, seeing things in the mind’s eye, knowing how to learn, and reasoning

Personal Qualities – individual responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, and integrity.

Resources:  Identifies, organizes, plans, and allocates resources

A. Time & Selects goal-relevant activities, ranks them, allocates time, and prepares and follows schedules

B. Money & Uses or prepares budgets, makes forecasts, keeps records, and makes adjustments to meet objectives

C. Material and Facilities & Acquires, stores, allocates, and uses materials or space efficiently

D. Human Resources & Assesses skills and distributes work accordingly, evaluates performance and provides feedback

Interpersonal: Works with others

A. Participates as a Member of a Team & contributes to group effort

B. Teaches Others New Skills

C. Serves Clients/Customers & works to satisfy customers’ expectations

D. Exercises Leadership & communicates ideas to justify position, persuades and convinces others, responsibly challenges existing procedures and policies

E. Negotiates & works toward agreements involving exchange of resources, resolves divergent interests

F. Works with Diversity & works well with men and women from diverse backgrounds

Information: Acquires and uses information

A. Acquires and Evaluates Information

B. Organizes and Maintains Information

C. Interprets and Communicates Information

D. Uses Computers to Process Information

Systems: Understands complex inter-relationships

A. Understands Systems & knows how social, organizational, and technological systems work and operates effectively with them

B. Monitors and Corrects Performance & distinguishes trends, predicts impacts on system operations, diagnoses deviations in systems’ performance and corrects malfunctions

C. Improves or Designs Systems & suggests modifications to existing systems and develops new or alternative systems to improve performance

Technology: Works with a variety of technologies

A. Selects Technology & chooses procedures, tools or equipment including computers and related technologies

B. Applies Technology to Task & Understands overall intent and proper procedures for setup and operation of equipment

C. Maintains and Troubleshoots Equipment & Prevents, identifies, or solves problems with equipment, including computers and other technologies.


Basic Skills: Reads, writes, performs arithmetic and mathematical operations, listens and speaks

A. Reading — locates, understands, and interprets written information in prose and in documents such as manuals, graphs, and schedules

B. Writing — communicates thoughts, ideas, information, and messages in writing; and creates documents such as letters, directions, manuals, reports, graphs, and flow charts

C. Arithmetic/Mathematics — performs basic computations and approaches practical problems by choosing appropriately from a variety of mathematical techniques

D. Listening — receives, attends to, interprets, and responds to verbal messages and other cues E. Speaking — organizes ideas and communicates orally

Thinking Skills: Thinks creatively, makes decisions, solves problems, visualizes, knows how to learn, and reasons

A. Creative Thinking — generates new ideas

B. Decision Making — specifies goals and constraints, generates alternatives, considers risks, and evaluates and chooses best alternative

C. Problem Solving — recognizes problems and devises and implements plan of action

D. Seeing Things in the Mind’s Eye — organizes, and processes symbols, pictures, graphs, objects, and other information

E. Knowing How to Learn — uses efficient learning techniques to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills

F. Reasoning — discovers a rule or principle underlying the relationship between two or more objects and applies it when solving a problem

Personal Qualities: Displays responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, and integrity and honesty

A. Responsibility — exerts a high level of effort and perseveres towards goal attainment

B. Self-Esteem — believes in own self-worth and maintains a positive view of self

C. Sociability — demonstrates understanding, friendliness, adaptability, empathy, and politeness in group settings

D. Self-Management — assesses self accurately, sets personal goals, monitors progress, and exhibits self-control

E. Integrity/Honesty — chooses ethical courses of action