21st Century Skills taught at Idyllwild Arts Academy
Source: Idyllwild Arts Academy

The report by PricewaterHouse Coopers, titled Workforce of the Future, has given schools renewed direction in how they must prepare students for the future.

In this report, it was stated that students must learn how to develop soft skills early on in life in order to work alongside new technologies such as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Memorisation and standardised testing is becoming less important for students in the future, as these are things that robots can do.

Blair Sheppard, Global Leader in Strategy and Leadership Development at PwC, said, “So what should we tell our children? That to stay ahead, you need to focus on your ability to continuously adapt, engage with others in that process, and most importantly retain your core sense of identity and values.

“For students, it’s not just about acquiring knowledge, but about how to learn. For the rest of us, we should remember that intellectual complacency is not our friend and that learning – not just new things but new ways of thinking – is a life-long endeavour.”

21st Century Skills taught at Woodberry School

Source: Woodberry Forest School

Schools are increasingly expected to teach 21st century skills – also known as the 4Cs: communication, collaboration, creative and critical thinking.

Students today must also be innovative, analytical, adaptable, agile, flexible and able to connect with others on an interpersonal level.

Boarding schools today are incorporating more activities and using different approaches to learning so children develop these skills and are able to adapt to new worlds of work.

While the focus was on STEM in the past, more and more schools today are including the Arts (STEAM) as they are seeing the benefits of arts education.

Performing arts in education, such as music and drama, allow students to develop their minds and bodies through creative and collaborative expression, which also gives them confidence and self-esteem.

21st Century Skills taught at Berkshire School

Source: Berkshire School

These schools in the US are leading the way by approaching education in an engaging way, developing students with 21st century skills so they can thrive as adults in an uncertain future.


This California boarding school provides college-prep academics to young people from around the world while also teaching them to excel in the arts: theatre, music, film-making, visual arts, dance and more.

As creativity is a key aspect of 21st century skills, arts training prepares students for the future by allowing them to create: to stretch themselves to see what they’re capable of, thus preparing them better than traditional education can for new jobs that we can’t even imagine today!

Students whose artistic skills are encouraged develop into confident, creative adults who can adapt to multiple environments due to their flexible careers.

By creating art under the guidance of a faculty of professional artists, students here also develop core 21st century collaborative skills. Much of the art we enjoy is made collaboratively, and people who know how to work with others will adapt swiftly to the new environments that come with career changes.

21st Century Skills taught at Idyllwild Arts Academy

Source: Idyllwild Arts Academy

And Idyllwild Arts Academy’s international environment—with students from almost forty countries in a typical year—prepares students for a future that will be even more globally connected.


Located in Virginia, this private all-male boarding school is designed to help students develop, grow, and challenge themselves.

Through engaging experiences both in and outside the classroom, students build confidence, resilience and independence, along with other 21st century skills.

On top of a rigorous academic curriculum, students are also able to pursue athletics or the arts, depending on their passions.

This allows them to build their leadership skills and learn independence as they navigate the boarding school environment.

They become lifelong learners with the ability to think critically as the teaching methods here encourage students to become deep and curious thinkers.

21st Century Skills taught at Woodberry School

Source: Woodberry Forest School

They build strong relationships with teachers and get plenty of personalised attention so they can become the best version of themselves.

Several Woodberry students go on to some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities, thus becoming leaders in their respective and careers.


This co-ed college preparatory boarding school in Massachusetts, teaching students in Grade 9-12, offer an academically rigorous course of study.

Everyone makes an impact at Berkshire, thriving in a close-knit student population of 400 in a residential community.

The school develops leaders and innovative thinkers, motivating them to build their confidence and take risks so they can live up to their full potential and advance their 21st century skills.

21st Century Skills taught at Berkshire School

Source: Berkshire School

The college prep curriculum helps them become agile and independent thinkers as students are challenged intellectually, taught by a talented and passionate faculty.

Here, signature programmes are designed to encourage students to learn from real-world experiences and open up their minds to new approaches to everyday problems.

There are also plenty of extra-curricular activities in performing arts, visual arts and sports which supplement their education so they graduate as well-rounded individuals.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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