In “Our schools are broken: An interview with director Greg Whiteley about his Sundance doc ‘Most Likely to Succeed’” by Alexandra Heeney (The Standord Daily, 6 Feb 2015), Whitley says:
“Compliance, following instructions: those don’t serve us very well in the 21st century. If that’s all you can do, and you show up to a job interview, your employer is going to look at you, and just say, ‘Well, I really don’t need people like that, because I’ve got a computer, or an algorithm, or a piece of software, that is compliant or follows instructions. I need somebody that can come here and think critically, and not just problem-solve, but detect problems. I want you to point out to me problems that I’m not even aware of and solve them.’ That’s what employers in the 21st century are looking for. It’s what life is looking for.”
In the article, they also say: “[Whitley’s] film excavates the roots of our current education system, argues for how the world is changing in a way that make this form of education obsolete, and looks for answers for the future of education.”
Agreed — though I have not seen his documentary, so I do not know if I’d agree with his ideas or not! And thinking conceptually and independently is not a “21st century skill ” — it’s a skill for all humans in all times and all places.