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Connection & Collaboration



& Information


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Life & Career Skills

Problem Solving

Creative & Critical Thinking





The Science Behind Mind Lab 21

Research shows that the standard American educational model is outdated.


Now that everyone has all of the world's information at their fingertips, once-useful skills such as recall and description are no longer prized.

Now and in the future, the most successful among us will excel at creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking as well as inquiry and research.

Below are links to several studies on best practices for a modern, 21st century approach to education. They are the inspiration for Mind Lab 21.

Drake, S.M. & Reid, J.L. (2018). Integrated Curriculum as an Effective Way to Teach 21st Century Capabilities. Asia Pacific Journal of Educational Research. Retrieved from:

"There is an emerging international consensus on the importance of developing 21st Century capabilities as part of education curricula."

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"They need to be lifelong learners who can manage and make sense of huge amounts of data, and be able to problem-solve complex issues of the day."

"They need to be creative thinkers who can innovate in a world that offers open access to knowledge."

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Chalkiadaki, A. (2018). A Systematic Literature Review of 21st Century Skills and Competencies in Primary Education. International Journal of Instruction. Retrieved from:

"Creativity is one of the most-discussed personal skills...related with the ability to innovate."

"The ability to learn independently is highly valued...the ability to take intellectual risks is, also, valued."

Wang, Y., Lavonen, J., & Tirri, K. (2018). Aims for Learning 21st Century Competencies in National Primary Science Curricula in China and Finland.  Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. Retrieved from:

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This comparison of Chinese and Finnish curriculum offers a detailed list of desired 21st Century competencies (see Table 1).

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Wang, Y., Lavonen, J., & Tirri, K. 21st Century Competencies in the Chinese Science Curriculum. University of Helsinki, Finland. Retrieved from:

"Learning to learn, critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, Information and Communication Technology skills, communication and collaboration competencies are the highly mentioned general competencies mentioned in all frameworks." 

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