603.10 – Core Curriculum & 21st Century Learning to Include Global Awareness

Our growing interdependence with other nations in the world, mastery of core subjects, and 21st-century themes are essential for students. Core subjects include English, reading, language arts, world languages, arts, mathematics, economics, science, geography, history, government, and civics. Grades kindergarten through twelve will move beyond a focus on basic competency in core subjects to an understanding of academic content at higher levels by weaving 21st-century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects. 21st-century student outcomes are the skills, knowledge, and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st century. As the curriculum is reviewed and adopted, emphasis will be placed on the following student outcomes:

Global Literacy-students will understand the linkage of economies, peoples, and cultures around the world, and function comfortably and effectively in languages and cultures other than their own.

Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy-students will know how to make appropriate personal economic choices, understand the role of the economy in society, and use entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options. 

Civic Literacy-students will know how to participate effectively in civic life. They will know how to stay informed, understand governmental processes, exercise the rights and obligations of citizenship at local, state, national, and global levels, and understand the local and global implications of civic decisions.

Health Literacy-students will obtain, interpret and understand basic health information and services and use such information and services in ways that are health-enhancing. Students will understand preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance, and stress reduction. Students will use available information to make appropriate health-related decisions, establish and monitor personal and family health goals, and understand national and international public health and safety issues.

The elements described below are the critical systems necessary to ensure student mastery of 21st-century skills. 21st century standards, assessments, curriculum, instruction, professional development, and learning environments will be aligned to produce a support system that produces 21st-century outcomes for Colfax-Mingo’s students. The skills support systems include:

Learning and Innovation Skills – Learning and innovation skills increasingly are being recognized as the skills that separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not.  A focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future. Learning and innovation skills include:

Creativity and Innovation – students will think creatively by utilizing a wide range of idea creation techniques, create new and worthwhile ideas, elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts. 

Work Creatively with Others – students will develop, implement and communicate new ideas to others effectively; be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work, demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work; understand the real-world limits to adopting new ideas; view failure as an opportunity to learn; and understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes

Implement Innovations – students will act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur

Reason Effectively – students will use various types of reasoning (inductive, deductive, etc.) as appropriate to the situation

Use Systems Thinking – students will analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systems

Make Judgments and Decisions – students will effectively analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims, and beliefs; analyze and evaluate major alternative points of view; synthesize and make connections between information and arguments; interpret information and draw conclusions based on the best analysis, and reflect critically on learning experiences and processes

Solve Problems – students will solve different kinds of non-familiar problems in both conventional and innovative ways, and identify and ask significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions 

Communicate Clearly – students will articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts; listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes, and intentions; use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade); utilize multiple media and technologies, and know-how to judge their effectiveness a priori as well as assess their impact, and communicate effectively in diverse environments (including multi-lingual)

Collaborate with Others – students will demonstrate an ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams; exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal, and assume shared responsibility for collaborative work, and value the individual contributions made by each team member

Information, Media, and Technology Skills Information literacy and technology skills are becoming more complex as print and digital media continue to evolve. Students must develop a comprehensive set of skills in this area in order to meet the demands of our future workforce. They must also learn how to use information effectively in an increasingly global community. In short, today’s learners must achieve the following outcomes:

Gain Knowledge-follow an inquiry-based process in seeking knowledge, including self-assessment to gain knowledge. Demonstrate critical thinking and persistence. Use information technology responsibly. 

Apply Knowledge-continue an inquiry-based research process by applying critical-thinking skills to information in order to construct new understandings, draw conclusions, and create new knowledge. Consider diverse and global perspectives in drawing conclusions. Determine how to act on information.

Share Knowledge-conclude an inquiry-based research process by sharing new understandings and reflecting on the learning. Participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society. Share knowledge respectfully and responsibly.

Pursue Personal and Aesthetic Growth-read, view, listen and respond for pleasure and personal growth. Display curiosity by pursuing events through multiple resources. Seek opportunities for pursuing personal and aesthetic growth.

Life and Career Skills – Today’s life and work environments require far more than thinking skills and content knowledge. The ability to navigate the complex life and work environments in the globally competitive information age requires students to pay rigorous attention to developing adequate life and career skills.

Flexibility and Adaptability – students will adapt to change, adapt to varied roles, job responsibilities, schedules, and context, and work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities. Students will incorporate feedback effectively, deal positively with praise, setbacks, and criticism; and understand, negotiate and balance diverse views and beliefs to reach workable solutions, particularly in multi-cultural environments

Initiative and Self-Direction – students will manage goals and time; set goals with tangible and intangible success criteria; balance tactical (short-term) and strategic (long-term) goals; and utilize time and manage workload efficiently

Work Independently – students will monitor, define, prioritize and complete tasks without direct oversight

Be Self-directed Learners – students will go beyond basic mastery of skills and/or curriculum to explore and expand one’s own learning and opportunities to gain expertise; demonstrate initiative to advance skill levels towards a professional level; demonstrate commitment to learning as a lifelong process, and reflect critically on past experiences in order to inform future progress

Interact Effectively with Others – students will know when it is appropriate to listen and when to speak and conduct themselves in a respectable, professional manner

Work Effectively in Diverse Teams – students will respect cultural differences and work effectively with people from a range of social and cultural backgrounds; respond open-mindedly to different ideas and values; and leverage social and cultural differences to create new ideas and increase both innovation and quality of work

Manage Projects – students will set and meet goals, even in the face of obstacles and competing pressure; and prioritize, plan and manage work to achieve the intended result

Produce Results – students will demonstrate additional attributes associated with producing high-quality products including the abilities to:

  • Work positively and ethically
  • Manage time and projects effectively
  • Multi-task
  • Participate actively, as well as be reliable and punctual
  • Present oneself professionally and with proper etiquette
  • Collaborate and cooperate effectively with teams

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 256. 11,  IA (2007).; 281 I.A.C. 12.5(11).

Date of Adoption: January 19, 2009

Reviewed & Revised: March 21, 2016;   June 17, 2019