In an era marked by rapid advances in automation and artificial intelligence, current research suggests a dramatic shift in the skills needed to sustain in the future workforce (1). As technology constantly flourishes around us, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) recognized that all learners need educational experiences in the classroom and beyond to build knowledge and skills for success in a globally and digitally interconnected landscape. Thus, P21 developed the 21st century learning framework, with input from teachers, education experts, and business leaders to define and illustrate the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in work, life and citizenship. Anchored in the 4Cs: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication, they constitute the skills needed to master the 4Cs of our future workforce: complexity, change, competition, connectedness (2).

I argue that although the Agile framework started in software development, its implementation in schools and training programs will successfully foster the 4Cs in students who are preparing for the future workforce. At its core, Agile is all about innovation. It’s about dealing with uncertainty through incremental work delivered by self-organized and motivated teams that are capable of adapting and responding to change (3). As such, implementing the Agile framework in schools will help prepare our future workforce with the skills needed to “flourish in a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous” (4). As the world’s context shifts, schools and training programs must evolve accordingly, or risk leaving students behind; implementing the Agile framework in a classroom setting will allow us to create schools and training programs, that enable continuous innovation with high-quality, sustainable teaching practices for tomorrow’s workforce.

1. Manyika, Lund, Chui, Baughin, Woetzel, Batra, Ko & Sanghvi, 2017

2. Miller, 2016

3. Prieto, 2016

4. Denning, 2016


Outline/Structure of the Talk


The future of the workforce (desired skills)

Connecting Agile and 21st Century Learning

Collaboration activity

Learning Outcome

  • Understand the outlook of the future workforce (desired skills) [Brainstorm, collaborative talking activity]
  • Learn about the necessity for 21st century skills in schools/training program
  • Understand the connection between Agile and 21st Century Skills
    • And the need for Agile in schools to successfully implement 21st century skills
    • Apply Agile to "real world" training scenarios [collaborative activity]

Target Audience

Educators, Consultants, Training Organizations, Instructional Coaches, Organizations attempting to implement Agile practices

Prerequisites for Attendees

There is no pre-requisite to do before this session. They only need to have an interest in applying the framework to their own organization/school's "training" and/or how Agile connects to 21st century skills

schedule Submitted 4 years ago