In my classes, I emphasize skills. I try and develop empowered thinking, where students are asked to solve problems, engage in metacognitive thought, to think flexibly, and to apply learning to real-life situations. I strive to bring my teaching in line with current research-based practices. In that regard, I am supportive of The Partnership for 21st Century Skills. I really appreciate their graphic organizer that visually demonstrates the importance of skills in relation to content knowledge.
Why do these skills matter? Here is photographic evidence as an answer to the question. This design, made to hold flower boxes, works mediocre at best when there are flower boxes setting in the wrought iron frames. But when the boxes are removed, these pieces of wrought iron become more like weapons than anything. The design just doesn’t work. 21st Century Skills? I say no. It just doesn’t work.