Have you seen "The 21st Century Skills and English Map"? (Link to PDF below.) This is frightening stuff if you care at all about education and the future. It's put out by the "Partnership for 21st Century Skills" (www.21stcenturyskills.org) which seems to be a bailout-era employment program for people who have humanities degrees and no job prospects. ("The leading advocacy organization infusing 21st century skills into education.")
Most of the map is either blindingly obvious ("...asking significant questions that clarify various points of view..."), or complete nonsense that can't be parsed into meaningful English ("Framing, analyzing and synthesizing information in order to solve problems and answer questions" -- what does that mean?).
But look at some of their 21st Century skills:
POST-MODERN DECONSTRUCTION. "Examining how individuals interpret messages differently, how values and points of view are included or excluded and how media can influence beliefs and behaviors encountered. Students pool the data as a class. Using the compiled data, students write analytical essays drawing conclusions about the intention, ethics, effectiveness, or other topic inferred from the data."
GROUPTHINK. "Leveraging the collective intelligence of groups when appropriate"
GETTING OTHERS TO DO YOUR WORK FOR YOU. "Leveraging strengths of others to accomplish a common goal" (Although hardly a 21st century skill, since I remember this happening in school back in the 20th century. Teachers grouping students together and one or two doing the work while the rest sat and talked.)
COMPROMISING YOUR BELIEFS TO GET ALONG WITH OTHERS. "Exercising flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal."
Dress it up how they like (unfortunately, they don't list obfuscating what you're really trying to say in a blizzard of buzzwords and fluff as a 21st Century skill), this is still scary. These are the skills we're supposed to be teaching young people? My jaw hit the floor when I was reading this report, and I'm not easy to surprise.