21st Century Learning

Integrates Knowledge and Applied-Knowledge Skills:

The Metro Schools of Design are committed to helping students build a solid foundation of skills that will ensure their success in the 21st Century. Metro has identified five core 21st Century skills, called “Soft Skills”, that are integrated with each courses' content literacy. Creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and professional ethics; these "Soft Skills" that are assessed across Metro's K-12 continuum. These skills ensure that students, in addition to learning the hard content of the courses, are learning how to think, create, collaborate, and communicate effectively with their peers and community.

Did you know . . .

According to the 2006 report, Are They Really Ready to Work?, applied skills called "Soft Skills" play a key role in the success of workers.

This in-depth survey of 461 business leaders conducted by the Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and Society for Human Resource Management reveals that while the three "R's" (reading, writing, and arithmetic) are still fundamental to every employee's ability to do the job, employers view "soft" skills as even more important to work readiness. The report also finds that younger workers frequently lack these skills, which include:
  • Professionalism or work ethic
  • Oral and written communication
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Critical thinking or problem-solving skills

At METRO we are committed to ensuring all of our students have the knowledge and applied skills necessary to be successful in the 21st Century. It is for this reason, the "soft skills" are an integral part of learning at Metro and integrated into students' final grade. We are confident you will be able to see and hear the difference our integrated focus on the "Soft Skills" makes on our students.

Content Literacy

Definition: The learner is able to demonstrate mastery of the core content with a depth of knowledge and skills necessary for success in the 21st century.
Just like every other student in Texas, Metro students must demonstrate mastery of their content standards. These state standards, called Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKS), ensure that every student is equipped with the knowledge skills required for success in the 21st Century.


Definition: The learner is able to analyze problems from a unique perspective and explore innovative design ideas aimed at real-world solutions.


Definition: The learner is able to clearly convey views and ideas effectively in written, visual and verbal formats in a way that exudes confidence and is relevant to a given audience.

Professional Ethics

Definition: The learner is able achieve success by setting high standards of excellence for himself through self-discipline, work ethic, honesty and integrity.

Critical Thinking

Definition: The learner is able to use analytical thinking to solve problems and generate new ideas based on information gathered from observation, experience, reflection, reasoning or communication with others.


Definition: The learner is able to work effectively in a variety of groups and contribute to discussions, support peers, come to consensus and achieve the group goals as defined by the project or task.

Metropolitan Schools of Design

Metro Schools' Mission: Nurturing creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration by design.

Metro Schools' Vision: Global learners who lead with the passion to create, the persistence to innovate, and the confidence to design new possibilities for the future.