Preparing Students for a 21st Century World

Today’s fast-paced world is full of tremendous challenges and uncertainty. In order to prepare our younger generations to thrive in this world, we need to ensure that they are well equipped with pivotal 21st Century skills. These include the ability to think critically and communicate effectively, being proactive and possessing the right amount of curiosity and imagination.

Critical-Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

Regardless of the career path that students choose to embark on in the future, the ability to think and act quickly is an indispensable tool to cultivate their research and learning process. By properly developing their critical-thinking skills, students are able to view problems from different perspectives and consequently formulate optimal solutions.

Effective Communication Skills

The ability to communicate well is critical to one’s success. Thus, the importance of effective verbal, written and non-verbal communication (e.g. facial expression, tone and pitch of voice, gestures and eye contact) should not be overlooked. Whether at work, at home or in a social situation, good communication skills are vital in delivering information quickly and clearly. They can aid in building relationships, avoiding misunderstandings and eliminating time wastage.


Showing initiative is easier said than done. Many people find it hard to take initiative as they do not want to assume the responsibility and spend time making contributions. Initiative is a self-management skill that requires resilience and determination. People who show good initiative often stand out from the rest and are appreciated for being proactive in anticipating problems or challenges and taking the necessary steps to prevent or overcome it.

Curiosity and Imagination

Einstein once said imagination is more important than knowledge. It is important to stay curious and imaginative as it makes our mind active all the time, opening up new worlds and possibilities. In doing so, we are able to gain access to extra information and knowledge that are not found in the classroom.

Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School creates a vibrant and engaging learning environment to help our students master these critical 21st Century skills. As soon as they step into our school, even our youngest learners are immersed in specially designed environments that present plenty of opportunities for them to nurture their curiosity, flex their problem-solving skills and hone their social and communication skills.

Performing arts is a central part of the school’s curriculum. Our campus features a fully equipped theater that can accommodate over 800 people, providing an outlet for our students to develop their communication and self-presentation skills as well as creativity. weCreate®, a signature Shattuck-St. Mary’s program, meanwhile, allows students to pursue their passion and foster their creativity in diverse areas within a cutting-edge weCreate Center. Upper School students will also be part of our acclaimed ScholarShift® program, a bespoke approach to learning that cultivates initiative alongside other 21st Century skills to prepare them for a seamless transition to life after high school.

Find out more about these and our other unique learning approaches at

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