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Cognitive Skills You Need for the 21st Century

Author Stephen K. Reed

Publication Date - July 2020

ISBN: 9780197529003

300 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches

In Stock

Begins with a Future of Jobs report that contrasts trending and declining skills required by the workforce in the year 2022


In Cognitive Skills You Need for the 21st Century, Stephen Reed discusses a Future of Jobs report that contrasts trending and declining skills required by the workforce in the year 2022. Trending skills include analytical thinking and innovation, active learning strategies, creativity, reasoning, and complex problem solving. Part One on Acquiring Knowledge contains chapters on cognitive processes that are critical for learning. Part Two on Organizing Knowledge explains how matrices, networks, and hierarchies offer contrasting methods for visualizing organization. Part Three on Reasoning discusses visuospatial reasoning, reasoning from imperfect knowledge, and reasoning strategies. Part Four on Problem Solving focuses on the knowledge and strategies required to solve different types of problems, including those that involve design and dynamic changes. Part Five on Artificial Intelligence contains chapters on the Data Sciences, Explanatory Models, the Information Sciences, and General AI. Part Six on Education consists of three chapters on educating 21st century skills at all levels of instruction. Research in Cognitive Psychology, Education, and AI provides the foundation for acquiring these skills.


  • Discusses a broad range of cognitive skills identified by the World Economic Forum as becoming increasingly important for the 21st century workforce
  • Aids undergraduate and graduate students in planning their education by recommending courses and projects
  • Includes anecdotes and problems designed to encourage the reader to actively think and reflect about their own problems and experiences
  • Identifies relevant research in Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Psychology, and Education that should contribute to solving the world's problems

About the Author(s)

Stephen Reed is an Emeritus Professor at San Diego State University and a visiting scholar at the University of California, San Diego. He served for seven years as the coordinator of a joint doctoral program between the two universities in mathematics and science education. He is the author of five books and is now working on the 2nd edition of Thinking Visually and the 10th edition of Cognition: Theory and Applications.


"After helping our children during the past pandemic year with their homework, we are ready for a book offering cognitive self-help. In this work addressing the contemporary need for cross-disciplinary skills and creativity in problem-solving, Reed introduces, among other ideas, a newer more modern approach to learning mathematics. He begins by citing a study undertaken by the Educational Testing Service to determine the types of skills needed for success in the modern workforce. Key to Reed's purpose is to build connections between his own expertise in cognitive psychology and the call to understand and embrace aspects of artificial intelligence. Reed contextualizes his argument for different audiences. The book is well referenced and features an excellent index." -- J. Beidler, emeritus, University of Scranton, Choice

Table of Contents


    Part One. Acquiring Knowledge

    Chapter 1. Comprehension
    Chapter 2. Action
    Chapter 3. Categorization
    Chapter 4. Abstraction

    Part Two. Organizing Knowledge

    Chapter 5. Matrices
    Chapter 6. Networks
    Chapter 7. Hierarchies

    Part Three. Reasoning

    Chapter 8. Visuospatial Reasoning
    Chapter 9. Imperfect Knowledge
    Chapter 10. Reasoning Strategies

    Part Four. Problem Solving

    Chapter 11. Problems
    Chapter 12. Design
    Chapter 13. Dynamics

    Part Five. Artificial Intelligence

    Chapter 14. Data Sciences
    Chapter 15. Explainable AI
    Chapter 16. Information Sciences
    Chapter 17. General AI

    Part Six. Education

    Chapter 18. Complex Systems
    Chapter 19. Computational and Mathematical Thinking
    Chapter 20. Continuing Education