21st Century Skills

In a time of unprecedented economic, technological, social and geopolitical change, our increasingly “flat” world and rapidly globalizing economy demands that we prepare students for a future we can’t predict. This is why 21st century skills are a hallmark of teaching and learning at ACDS.

What's different now?

Traditionally, American education has focused on acquisition of knowledge. For the 21st century, with information instantly accessible and overwhelmingly abundant, education must provide children with skills including -- but going beyond -- content mastery. Children have to learn to evaluate and manage vast quantities of information, beyond memorizing and recalling it. They need to learn how to solve problems, individually and in groups; to understand and appreciate unfamiliar cultures and belief systems; and to be confident in both presenting to and interacting with others. 

At ACDS, we integrate these and other 21st century skills into our educational philosophy and instructional methods. While we continue to ensure that our students achieve mastery in academic skills, it is through their exposure to a wide range of learning experiences, opportunities to try (and fail) in a supportive, high-challenge, low-stress environment, and frequent interaction in collaborative, project-based activities that they grow toward 21st century outcomes: creativity, curiosity, empathy, innovation, entrepreneurial thinking, resilience, and above all, leadership

Indeed, we’re preparing ACDS students to lead in a world where many of them will eventually take on jobs that haven’t been invented yet! And we do this in a learning environment that challenges, stimulates, and values every child, every day, so that our students love to come to school and are inspired to become lifelong learners while they’re building the skills they need to succeed.