programs and (e) exhibits, museums, and other informal learning centers. For learning in both formal and informal environments, identify features related to learning these skills in education interventions in (f) digital media.


To address these five areas of concern, the committee reviewed research literature across several disciplines, including cognitive science, educational and social psychology, economics, child and adolescent development, literacy, mathematics and science education, psychometrics, educational technology, and human resource development. The committee drew on recent NRC workshops focusing on demand for 21st century skills, the intersection of science education and 21st century skills, and the assessment of 21st century skills, as well as on papers commissioned for an NRC planning process on behalf of the Hewlett Foundation. It considered the work of the ATC21S project and emerging research on the relationship between cognitive and noncognitive skills and abilities and adult outcomes (see Chapter 3).

The committee met three times. The first meeting included an open session with representatives of the FrameWorks Institute, which focused on how the public thinks about education and early childhood development. In the closed session of the first meeting, teams of committee members focusing on each topic in the study charge delivered brief presentations summarizing relevant research findings. These presentations and discussions provided the basis for a preliminary draft of this report. At its second meeting, the committee deliberated on the preliminary draft and decided to focus the report on learning for transfer. Following the second meeting, the committee and staff revised the preliminary draft extensively, and this new draft was discussed at the committee’s third meeting. At the third meeting, the committee also developed preliminary conclusions and recommendations based on the draft. Following this meeting, the committee and staff again revised the report. In a final teleconference, the committee discussed and reached consensus on the conclusions and recommendations. The draft report entered the NRC review process in February 2012. Following receipt of review comments it was revised and publicly released in July 2012.


Following this introductory chapter, Chapter 2 begins to address the question of how to define deeper learning and 21st century skills, proposing a preliminary taxonomy with clusters of competencies. Chapter 3 summarizes several different strands of research on the importance of

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