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NCTE 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment Framework

NCTE 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment Framework

Written by Erin Wilkey Oh
October 05, 2010

In 2008, the NCTE Executive Committee adopted a position statement addressing 21st century literacy skills. The 21st Century Literacy Curriculum and Assessment Framework presents learning outcomes deemed necessary for 21st century readers and writers to succeed. For each outcome, the framework provides specific questions for Language Arts educators to address as they design lessons and assessments.

Elements of the Framework
According to this position statement, 21st century readers and writers need to

  • Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
  • Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
  • Design and share information for global communities that have a variety of purposes
  • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneously presented information
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by complex environments

To Assist Curriculum Planning
The NCTE framework provides valuable questions to help teachers reflect on the needs of 21st century learners as we design meaningful learning opportunities and authentic assessments for our students. For example, the final element addresses the importance of understanding and adhering to ethical and legal practices.

Questions for teachers to consider include

  • Do students share information in ways that consider all sources?
  • Do students practice the safe and legal use of technology?
  • Do students create products that are both informative and ethical?  

Implications for Assessments

“Assessments need to take into consideration both traditional components and elements that may be different for 21st century student work”

The NCTE framework lists newer elements of assessment that educators should consider such as students’ access to 21st century literacy tools outside of school, the potential for students to interact with a global audience, and the level of ethics and safety students exhibit in their online behavior. The framework suggests teachers be flexible and responsive when assessing practices of 21st century student learning.

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