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As part of the design and development of an informal learning environment meant to increase urban middle school students’ interest in technology-focused STEM careers, and to support their twenty-first century skill development, researchers developed and administered the ICT/Twenty-First Century Skills Questionnaire. Both STEM-ICT professionals and middle school students completed the survey. STEM-ICT professionals indicated that problem solving, critical thinking and communication were the most valued and the most frequently used skills in their environments. Students underestimated the amount of critical thinking and systematic design, and overestimated the amount of coding and digital research that occurs in STEM-ICT workplaces. Among skills highly valued by ICT professionals, students reported significantly lower ability levels in problem solving, critical thinking, communication, use of technical systems and information literacy. The researchers discuss implications of this research on future curriculum and program design.
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- Urban Middle School Students, Twenty-First Century Skills, and STEM-ICT Careers: Selected Findings from a Front-End Analysis
Jonathan D. Cohen
- Springer US
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