There is growing consensus that 21st century skills, or general capabilities as they are known in Australia, need to be cultivated to help learners succeed in a modern society based on knowledge and innovation.

Our skill development frameworks provide detailed descriptions of skills as student behaviours that teachers can identify, monitor and enhance.

Download ACER’s skill development frameworks

ACER’s skill development frameworks are the culmination of five years’ research.

This included the development of an assessment template, and trialling of classroom-based assessments for Grade 6-10 students that collect detailed and reliable information about students’ skills.

Download the report 

Three evident needs underpin ACER's approach to skill development

Understanding development

Descriptions of skills defined by strands and aspects

Monitoring growth

Increasing levels of skill development for each aspect

Ensuring alignment

Aspects embedded in curriculum, assessment and pedagogy

Short course

Assessing skills for 21st century learners

Learn how to develop your own assessments of critical thinking, creative thinking and collaboration through our accredited, four-week online course.

Learn more 

Identifying and monitoring progress in collaboration skills

Research Conference 2021

Watch ACER Senior Research Fellow Dr Claire Scoular’s presentation to Research Conference 2021

Download the conference paper 

PAT Critical Reasoning

Measure students’ learning growth across a subset of critical thinking skills and target teaching where it’s needed most.

Find out more about PAT