The British Council's work with school systems aims to improve learning outcomes for young people. Research by education experts and academics explains that in order to participate in a global economy, young people need to be equipped with core skills, which supplement the traditional curriculum, subject-focussed approach of many education systems. These are also referred to as deep learning skills, 21st century skills, transversal skills or core skills and competencies, depending on the local/national/regional context.
The British Council conducted in-depth desk research to identify the most pertinent key skills from the literature and research that are:
- critical to meeting the needs of students in the 21st century and a globalised economy
- relevant to the British Council’s charter
- relevant to the educational context of the countries and regions where the British Council operates.
British Council consulted a range of stakeholders, drew upon research on the deep pedagogies framework and UNESCO's transversal skills and then decided to focus on supporting teachers develop their pedagog in the following six core skills and competencies:
CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING
Self-directed thinking that produces new and innovative ideas and solves problems. Reflecting critically on learning experiences and processes and making effective decisions.
COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION
Communicate effectively orally, in writing, actively listen to others in diverse and multilingual environments and understand verbal and non-verbal communication. Work in diverse international teams, learning from and contributing to the learning of others, assuming shared responsibility, cooperating, leading, delegating and compromising to produce new and innovative ideas and solutions.
CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION
Economic and social entrepreneurialism, imagining and pursuing novel ideas, judging value, developing innovation and curiosity.
Active, globally-aware citizens who have the skills, knowledge and motivation to address issues of human and environmental sustainability and work towards a fairer world in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue. Developing an understanding of what it means to be a citizen of your own country and your own country's values.
Using technology as a tool to reinforce, extend and deepen learning through international collaboration. Enabling the student to discover, master and communicate knowledge and information in a globalised economy.
STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Honesty, leadership, self-regulation and responsibility, perseverance, empathy for contributing to the safety and benefit of others, self-confidence, pupil voice, resilience, personal health and well-being, career and life skills and learning to learn/life-long learning.