What new skills and competencies do students need to develop to address these challenges?

  • In order to prepare learners to overcome these challenges, teachers cited the need for a range of higher order cognitive skills, including critical thinking, problem solving skills, creativity, and mental flexibility.
  • Teachers described how these higher order cognitive skills need to be supported with solid foundations in science, specifically the ability to conduct robust experimentation using the scientific method, supported by good scientific literacy, the ability to process and understand data, and a good understanding of maths.
  • A range of interpersonal skills were also mentioned, including communication and collaboration skills, creativity, personal drive / initiative, resilience, and the ability to persevere.

The inclusion of interpersonal skills and creativity alongside a solid foundation in science and higher cognitive skills is important to highlight here; it reflects a recognition of the need to be able to communicate scientific findings and relate them to the wider population, an issue that has been played out throughout the Covid pandemic.