The 21st century feature according Kemendikbud is the availability of information anywhere and anytime (information), the implementation of the use of machines (computing), able to reach all the work routine (automation) and can be done from anywhere and anywhere (communication). during the last 20 years there has been a shift in educational development toward ICT as one of the 21st century education management strategies that include institutional and human resource governance (Soderstrom, From, Lovqvist, & Tornquist, 2011: (Prof. Dr. Sasmoko, 2017). This century requires the transformation of education thoroughly so as to build quality teachers who are able to advance knowledge, training, student equity and student achievement (Darling-Hammond, 2006).

The characteristics of the 21st century according to Hernawan in Hidayat and Patras (Prof. Dr. Sasmoko, 2017) is the increasing interaction between the world’s citizens both directly and indirectly, the more information available and obtainable, the widespread intellectual horizon, the emergence of a flurry of openness and democratization in both politics and economics, the prolonged cultural distance between the older generation and the younger generation, increased awareness of the need to maintain the balance of the world, the increased awareness of economic interdependence, and the blurring of certain cultural sovereign boundaries due to unavoidable information. (Scott, 2015) and the Change Leadership Group of Harvard University identify the survival competencies and survival skills that students need in dealing with life, the world of work, and citizenship in the 21st century are emphasized on the following seven skills: (1) critical thinking skills and (2) collaboration and leadership, (3) agility and adaptability, (4) initiative and entrepreneurial spirit, (5) able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; (6) able to access and analyze information; 7) have curiousity and imagination.

Currently, through the revision of Government Regulation No. 64 of 2008 to PP No. 19 of 2017, Kemendikbud encourages the paradigm shift of teachers to be able to carry out its role as professional educator who not only able to educate students, but also shaping their positive character to become the gold generation of Indonesia with 21st century skills. Character education is expected to cultivate the heart, mind, taste and body.

Hidayat & Patras (Prof. Dr. Sasmoko, 2017) describes 21st century education needs by Patrick Slattery in his book “Curriculum Development In The Postmodern” education based on the following concepts (Slattery, 2006):

1. Education should be directed to social change, community empowerment, liberation of mind, body and spirit (referring to the concept developed by Dorothy} (UNESCO, 2002)

2. Education should be based on seven main things (referring to the concept developed by (Hanh, 2015), ie not bound by theory, ideology, and religion, do not think narrowly that the knowledge possessed is the most unenviable not to impose the will on people others with power, threats, propaganda and education, care for others, do not keep hatred and anger, do not lose the identity, do not work in places that destroy people and nature.

3. The context of learning, curriculum development and research is applied as an opportunity to connect students with the universe (referring to the concept developed by David Ort)

4. Make teachers feel prosperous in learning activities (referring to the concept developed by Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

US-based Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), identifies the competencies needed in the 21st century “The 4Cs” – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. These competencies are importantly taught to students in the context of core study areas and 21st century themes. Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S) categorizes 21st century skills into 4 categories: way of thinking, way of working, tools for working and skills for living in the world (Griffin & Care, 2012). Way of thinking includes creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making. Way of working includes communication skills, collaboration and teamwork. Tools for working include awareness as a global and local citizen, life and career development, and a sense of personal and social responsibility. While skills for living in the world are skills based on information literacy, mastery of new information and communication technologies, and the ability to learn and work through digital social networks.

UNESCO in the face of the 21st century translates education which implements 21th century vision by making 4 (four) pillars of education, that is:

  1. Learning to how (learn to know)
  2. Learning to do (learning to do)
  3. Learning to be (learning to actualize yourself as an independent individual with personality)
  4. Learning to live together (learning to live together)

The education that builds competence according to the 21st Century Learning partnership is a 21st Century learning framework that requires learners to have the skills, knowledge and skills in technology, media and information, learning skills, innovation, life skills and

Competence “partnership 21st Century Learning” refers to the format of 21st century education carried (Partnership For 21st Century Skills), namely:

  1. Cyber ​​(e-learning) where learning is done by optimizing the use
  2. Open and distance learning where the 21st century education can be done with distance learning model, not limited and done by utilizing the help of information and communication technology
  3. Quantum Learning, which applies learning methods tailored to the workings
  4. Cooperative Learning, is learning that uses groups as an effort to foster inter-cooperation
  5. Society Technology Science, an interdisciplinary concept applied to integrate problems in science, technology and society.
  6. Accelerated Learning, which develops the ability to absorb and understand information quickly so as to improve learning ability more effectively.


A number of published studies have shown that there are some important skills that students need in the 21st century to interact, work together and compete in the global economy that will be faced in the future. These skills are often referred to as Deep Learning Skills.

The grouping of some skills in the Deep Learning Skills concept is in line with the results of research conducted by many countries regarding the decreasing of student interest in teaching and learning in school and the high unemployment rate among young people. This is a challenge in itself, while at the same time, teachers are required to equip students with the knowledge and skills that enable students to pass, and even compete, at the next level of education and be ready to enter the workforce. “Education needs to be rethought radically, not just to stop the boredom of students, but also to revive the spirit of learning, where students and teachers are active partners who are together engaged in education,” (Langworthy, 2013)

Bloom’s Taxonomy

The highest order thinking skills (analyze/evaluate/ create) are deep on the ocean floor. The lowest skills (remember/understand) are peaking out on the surface of this volcanic island

Deep learning skills consists of 8 skills, namely:


Creativity is a natural and exclusively human endevour. Young children, before they begin formal schooling, are highly creative, becoming less and less so as they move through the education system. While teachers purport to subsribe to embracing creativity in the classroom, the reality is that they opt for more controlled anvironment over the slightly more unpredictable and potentially chaotic one that sometimes comes along with creativity (Council, Connecting Classroms an introduction to core skills for leaders). Creative thinking and imagination are the core skills you exercise when you do things in a way that is:

Kevin Ashton, a British author and entrepreneur, puts it so succinctly here, dispelling the misconception that many people have: when we say creative we don’t necessarily mean making a piece of art or literature or a radio programme, ew mean finding a new and improved way to do things.(Kevin Ashton)


Having made the case for the need to develop potency in our students we will now think about what that they might mean on a practical level. There is a lot that we have to think about. For example:

  • How will the introduction of 21st skill fit in your current practice
  • What do 21st skill look like in practice and are some of them already in place in your school?
  • What are the teaching approaches that we need to develop in our teaching staff?

Research has shown that one way of helping our students towards deeper learning is to use efficient questions in all lessons and subjects. A teachers’ skilful use of questions can help students to make connections between their learning.

      The Westbrook report on Pedagogy, Curriculum, Teaching Practices and Teacher Education in Developing Countries (2013) has this to say about questioning:

  • In the most effective practices, teachers:

Asked variety of questions drawing on students’ backgrounds and ranging from closed, recal questions to higher order, open questions with feedback embedded through elaboration, rephrasing and probing.

  • In the less effective practices, teachers:

Rarely rephrased, elaborated or probed a student’s response apart from short praise or whole-class clapping: Hardman et al (2012). Point out that while students were involved, their understanding was not checked – and hence in these ritualistic question and answer sessions, ‘no learning’ took place

  • Closed questions

Closed questions are factual and focus on correct response. They can be used to check if students have remembered essential facts or to assess students’ prior knowledge but they should not to be used to the exlusion of other more challenging types of questions, as they do not encourage deep thinking or learning. They can usually be answered quickly and the person asking the question keeps control over it.

  • Open questions will have variety of answers

depending on the depth of the students’ thinking.

  • Surface questions

Surface questions elicit one idea or some ideas.

They can be answered by a straightforward response that requires little processing or deep thinking, but they generally require a level of understanding to be answered well.

  • Deep questions elicit relations between ideas and

extended ideas. Higher level thinking skills will need to be used to give a satisfactory response to a deep question. These types of questions are good for developing students’ critical thinking, although care should be taken not to make them out of reach, as this can be demotivating. Because of the complex nature of the question and responses, some students may require a hint to point them in the right direction if they ar struggling.

Asking questions that begin with ‘What if..?’ and ‘ Why..?’ can help you delve deeper into student thinking.


Base on the British Council (Council, Connecting Classroms an introduction to core skills for leaders), a focus on learning is the first of five key principles for practice embodied by the Leadership for Learning (LfL). The framework was born out of body of research on the inter-relationship between leadership and learning, with the principles developing over a three-year period during a seven-country research project. The framework is now used in over 100 countries worldwide and, for example, in Ghana’s official school policy.

      The Leadership for Learning Ghana programme aims to improve the leadership capacity of head teachers and, in turn, to improve the quality of students’ learning. Since 2009, 124 head teachers have been transforming their schools in line with these principles. An additional 3.000 head teachers have also been introduced to LfL practice.

      LfL has five key principles for practice (focus on learning, conditions for learning, learning dialogue, shared leadership, and shared accountability), all of which are highly complementary to the teaching approaches to best develop them.

         Underpinning the Leadership for Learning framework is the following overarching principle: ‘Leadership is viewed as an activity that can be exercised by anyone, regardless of status, and learning also applies to everyone’.


         Curriculum development is demanding and a long journey. We need to create opportunities for spotting the tallents which members of your community who could contribute, and help them to do. So it is better to work initially with natural enthusiast and convertible sceptics. We now in global era, but education as the important part is a bite late. Time to run to catch up to join to compete in global economy. With better education, we can build a colaborration (Trilling & Fadel, 2009) with other country, and play a part in building a global learning network as powerfull and pervasive as our existing business, financial, and communications global networks (Trilling & Fadel, 2009). 

         Leaders aligned curriculum and professional development with informal accountability systems, increasing ownership and the transfer of learning to monitor progress.

         Curriculum development became cultivate at scale via tools and resources, mediated via CPD (continuing professional development)

Tools for specific group of pupils and contexts were developed and refined and then matched to individual needs as part of CPD

Tools included rubrics to systematis  thinking, for example split screen thinking, tenplates, planning grids, audit tools, habits of mind for enacting core principles.

         There are four core, evidence based curriculum leadership principles that highlight the effectiveness of leaders when introducing change:

Aligning curriculum development with school improvement priorities and CPD

Using CPD to support curriculum development and, at the same time, capitalise on teh momentum curriculum development gives to CPD to help build capacity

Securing staff ownership and authorship of the curriculum developmnet

Balancing challenge and support for staff resulting in informal monitoring, close scrutiny and supervision rather than post-hoc evaluation.


Council, B. (n.d.). Connecting Classroms an introduction to core skills for leaders. Jakarta: British Council.

Council, B. (n.d.). Connecting Classrooms Leading the core skills. Jakarta: British Council.

Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Constructing 21st-Century Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education.

Durrani, W. J. (2013). Pedagogy, Curriculum, Teaching Practices and Teacher Education in Developing Countries. UK aid.

Griffin, P., & Care, E. (2012). Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills Method and Approach. Springer.

Hanh, T. N. (2015, February 15). The Four Qualities of Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh. Retrieved from Creative by Nature:

Kemendikbud. (2017). Indonesia Patent No. No. 64 of 2008 to PP No. 19 2017.

Langworthy, M. F. (2013). Towards a New End: New Pedagogies for Deep Learning. Seattle: Collaborative Impact.

Partnership For 21st Century Skills. (n.d.).

Prof. Dr. Sasmoko, M. (2017). Pendidikan Abad 21. Pendidikan Guru Sekolah Dasar Binus University, 1.

Scott, C. L. (2015). THE FUTURES OF LEARNING 2: What kind of learning for the 21st Century. Education Research And Foresight Working Papers UNESCO.

Slattery, P. (2006). Curriculum Development in the Postmodern Era. Taylor & Francis.

Trilling, B., & Fadel, C. (2009). 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass a Wiley Imprint.

UNESCO. (2002). Learning to be a holistic and integrated approach to values education for human development. Bangkok: UNESCO.

UNESCO. (n.d.). EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/14 Teaching and Learning Achieving quality for all. 2014: UNESCO. �A,����}t

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