Standards for the 21st Century Learner

"The vision of the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner has given school librarians a solid foundation for their role in developing students prepared to meet the uncertainties of life in a fast-paced, information-rich global society." - Dr. Nancy Eberhart, AASL President 2010-2011


Big image

Common Beliefs

The AASL's Standards for the 21st Century Learner are based on a set of nine common beliefs. These belief statements provide the framework for the standards and outline the skills and resources necessary to meet benchmarks.

The common beliefs are:

1. Reading is a window to the world.

2. Inquiry provides a framework for learning.

3. Ethical behavior in the use of information must be taught.

4. Technology skills are crucial for future employment needs.

5. Equitable access is a key component for education.

6. The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources & technologies have changed.

7. The continuing expansion of information demands that all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn on their own.

8. Learning has a social context.

9. School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills.

The Standards

Once the librarian understands the core beliefs that shape the AASL's Standards for the 21st Century Learner, he/she will understand the the four standards, or outcomes, that students must meet. Through the librarian's instruction and guidance, learners use skills, resources and tools to...


Pursue Personal & Aesthetic Growth

More About the Standards

Each of the four standards is broken down by benchmarks in four subcategories. These are:

  • Skills
  1. "Key abilities needed for understanding, learning, thinking and mastering subjects."
  2. Examples: Conducting inquiry based research, using technology & evaluating sources.
  • Dispositions in Action
  1. "Ongoing beliefs and attitudes that guide thinking and intellectual behavior that can be measured through actions taken."
  2. Examples: Displaying persistence, adaptability, confidence, flexibility, and divergent and convergent thinking.
  • Responsibilities
  1. "Common behaviors used by independent learners in researching, investigating, and problem solving."
  2. Examples: Respect alternative viewpoints and perspectives, follow ethical guidelines, and consider global perspectives.
  • Self-Assessment Strategies
  1. Reflection on one's own learning to determine that the skills, dispositions, and responsibilities are effective."
  2. Example: Identify own interest, recognize own limits, seek help, analyze feedback and reflect.


Why 21st Century Standards?

Information Literacy and Engaging the 21st Century Learner -- 3rd edition

Further Reading:


Click here to view the American Association of School Librarians website and to read more information on the standards and 21st century learning!

Think Tank Library – Think Tank Classroom! Weaving Research, Rigor, & New Standards Together Creatively

Wednesday, Nov. 4th, 8:30am-4:30pm

AASL's 17th National Conference & Exhibition - Columbus, Ohio

Paige Jaeger, School Improvement Trainer
Mary Ratzer, Consultant

21st Century Learning requires students to be engaged, connected, challenged, and in-charge. This hands-on session will equip educators to turn learning upside down. Librarians and teachers can guide students down paths of discovery so they hardly know they are learning the "scope and sequence." This session will weave together Inquiry based learning, brain-based research, and the framework of the new standards (CCSS, Next Gen, C3 SS and more). Come with ideas, leave with a lesson.

Audience: Administrators; Classroom Teachers; Curriculum Specialists; Higher Education; Library Supervisors; School Librarians

Grade Levels: K-3; 4-6; Middle/Junior; High

Strand: Curriculum and Instruction

Registration Fees:
AASL Member: $189 | ALA Member: $239 | Non-member: $304


About Jacqueline Chirico

Jackie Chirico is working toward her SLMS certification while working in the library at Chatham Middle School. Previously, Jackie taught English for 9 years at the middle school and has a passion for reading and fostering that same passion for her students.