Days Seven & Eight


Developing 21st Century Competencies
for a Digital Age

Building capacity for being an innovative
connected learner and

Proverbs 18:15
“An intelligent mind acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”

Learning focus

To reflect and share our current practices and leadership for promoting 21st century competencies

Introducing the challenge

The world in which our students live is significantly different from that of previous generations. As Donna Fry points out, “we no longer live in the industrial, print based society that many of us grew in…technology has increasingly become pervasive and connected to everything we do.” The kinds of skills that students will need for an top-jobs-for-2020information-based economy are highlighted in a recent report by the World Economic Forum.  While these skills have always been at the core for learning and innovation, they are particularly important in an increasing changing digital world, and include such skills as problem-solving, critical thinking,  creativity, working in teams, and communicating through different media.

In response to these emerging trends in our global economy, educational systems across the world are 21st-century-competenciesincreasingly shifting their focus towards developing 21st century/global competencies that students need to be successful now and in the future. The recently released Ontario Ministry of Education  document, 21st Century Competencies, provides an excellent overview of the educational research and frameworks currently being used for teaching and learning in a digital age.

In this challenge, we invite you to reflect and share how you are modelling and developing these global competencies in your current practice. As a school leader, what actions or next steps would you take to foster these deeper learning practices in your school community?

PQP Curriculum Connections
● Develop Strategies to build, communicate and implement a shared vision
● Promote an effective learning environment

The Ontario Catholic Leadership Framework
● Setting Directions
● Developing Organization to Support Desired Practices

ISTE Standards for Administrators
● Visionary Leadership
● Excellence in Professional Practice


 Doing the challenge

“Today we are preparing students for a world where the creation of knowledge is the new essential, where critical literacy is needed and where critical thinking strategies are required to solve different types of complex problems in varied contexts and cultural situations. We are preparing students to claim their voices on route to becoming contributing members of a localized global society.” – Lyn Sharratt, Denis Maika and Elaine Hine, Pedagogically Focused Learning, 2015

Day 7 – Learning Engagement #7: View the video, The Fourth Industrial Revolution as it highlights how technology, globalization and innovation are transforming the world in which we live, now and in the future. Using #PQP20 share some of the big ideas that resonated with you as future Principal.   

Day 8 – Learning Engagement #8: Read the article, School Leadership in Exponential Times  by Donna Fry (CPCO’s Principal Connections, Fall 2016) that speaks to the importance of school leaders modelling and fostering the necessary competencies or skills for a rapidly changing digital world. With her article in mind, select one of the 21st century/global competencies that you would like to develop further. Use the guiding questions below to post your thoughts on your class reflection sheet:

  • How is this competency currently being developed in your classroom or school?  What would be the next step in developing this competency further?
  • How might it be connected to our Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations?


Sample Reflections from PQP Candidates 

Bright Ideas

“After watching the video The Forth Industrial Revolution,  it really made me think of the moonshot video we watched earlier in this challenge. It’s a lot about laying the foundation for questions that need answers. It’s about a new way of thinking and moving forward while we don’t have all the answers yet.  As a Catholic school leader and future principal I see this video helping me understand that I need to support teachers and students and bring the best out in each other and helping them understand that we are in an eternal search for solutions rather than checking things off of the curriculum guide. It is helping students understand that they need to think big and be critical thinkers and think globally with some solutions.  It’s helping everyone see that they need to see the goal and then create the roadmap to reach that goal because some the things they need may not exist yet. The 21st Century Competency that resonates with me most is Global Citizenship.  My nature as a social studies major has made it an important tenet of my teaching style to engage with my students and those around me that we are part of a community and it is important that we engage locally and globally with the mindset that we are each human and need to show and give dignity to each other because we all feel.  This is the “treat others as we would want to be treated” paradigm which is the foundation of our faith in addition to how we should be approaching all issues that affect us and each other.  In reference to building relationships, we must continue to promote the concept of inclusiveness throughout the system.  All people have things to contribute to the system and rather than acknowledging the gaps we have, we should be more focused on our strengths.  One concrete method that a principal can make is to ensure that he or she connects his school to community partners in addition to recognizing issues that can further connect the students to the world”.  – J. Sherwood, 2017

Beyond the challenge…




CPCO logo Registered