[Interview] 21st Century Skills – A Vital Foundation for Student's Success

21st century skills
  1. How should the approach differ for skilling students at each level, respectively – elementary, middle, and high school?

Students at each level are in different developmental phases, so they need to be treated with different approaches according to their age, capability, level of understanding etc. The needs and the challenges of elementary school students are unique, so the approach for them needs to be different from that of middle and high school students. During these formative years, parents, educators, and school administrators are concerned with the child's physical, mental, social, and economic well-being. All these are factors that can contribute to or hinder the academic success of the child. Teachers and schools must provide support in all of the above areas by creating a learning environment that addresses whole-child education, believing that all students have genius, and everyone can be a leader—and empowering students to have a voice. 

Middle school students experience a phase of self-discovery as they learn to develop relationships with peers and make responsible decisions. Schools must establish or create a social-emotional environment that helps every middle school student build self-confidence and discover their true potential while pursuing academic excellence.

The high school offers students the opportunity to cultivate their independence, ambitions, opinions, beliefs, and how they see the world around them. Understanding this, schools must create a student-led culture that helps them find their voice and develop critical skills to navigate college, career, and life success.

Skilling students at each level

  1. How important is it for students to find their voice in the classroom and school?

Many students struggle to feel a sense of belonging, purpose, and direction in their life. However, many schools often fail to recognize this, and as a result, students are often left behind. This struggle of students is a big failure on the part of educators and schools. Students aren't just passive listeners anymore. They expect to be an active participant and need to feel influential and respected in the class. Understanding this, schools need to have or create an effective classroom management system. To do this, schools can't ignore students' views and opinions. They need to make students feel heard and understood by creating a friendly and open environment. When the classroom culture doesn't intimidate the students and you help them find their voice in the classroom via discussions and leadership roles, they tend to learn better.  

  1. What evidence do we have on the 21st century and life skill development being effective?

There is evidence that psychosocial competencies, including resilience, personal agency, and self-confidence, can help a person move out of many social and economic problems. Life skills can enable young people to protect themselves from a multitude of vulnerable social environments risk-taking behaviours. Recognizing this, students and young people must be provided with the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop relevant values, attitudes and skills that will enable them to succeed in their life, now and in the future.  

Our organization FranklinCovey Education, world's most prominent and trusted providers of educational-leadership (social emotional learning SEL) programs and transformational processes is working hard to bring this to reality to students. FranklinCovey Education's Leader in Me process (LIM), a K-12 whole-school improvement model and process, helps schools create well-rounded learners by developing the whole person and preparing students to become life-ready leaders. It unites students, staff, and families around a common goal to prepare students with the 21st century and essential life skills necessary to thrive in today's ever-changing environment. Leader in Me is evidence-based, and research regarding the model has revealed a wide variety of impact. To date, over 30 independent academic-research studies have evaluated the model's effectiveness. Below are few for

Research Institute Name

Research finding on Leader in Me

St. John's University's Research

Decreases students' destructive behaviours and increases positive behaviours by 34%.

Benedictine University Research

Consistent drop (88%) in discipline referrals in junior high and 31% in elementary following implementation of the LIM process. 

ROI Institute research

84% of teachers acquired new skills and knowledge to be better leaders, and 87% to empower students after implementing Leader in Me.

Warwick-Edinburgh Research

28% improvement in teen's mental wellness, 33% increase in independent social/emotional behaviours & 41% increase in interdependent social/emotional behaviours after completing LIM program.

Westgate Research

92% of parents said LIM had a positive impact on their child.

University of Northern Iowa Research

38% agreed LIM school offered leadership opportunities to all students.

Texas A&M research

Leader in Me schools performed better on state math and ELA tests than non-Leader in Me schools.

University of North Florida Research

92% alignment between the leader's practices and the best science classroom practices within the Next Generation Science Standards.


To know more, visit: www.franklincoveysouthasia.com/education & www.leaderinme.org or email us at connect@FranklinCovey.co.in  

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