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The Contextualisation of 21st Century Skills

Assessment in East Africa

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2024

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  • Demonstrates how to build agreed understandings of 21st century skills
  • Highlights the intersection of culture, values and beliefs, with 21st century skills
  • Includes case studies illustrating concepts introduced in the book
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Part of the book series: The Enabling Power of Assessment (EPAS, volume 11)

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About this book

This open access book is written for educators and policymakers who seek to empower young people with competencies necessary for fulfilling lives in the 21st century. It reports how a large group of educators from government and civil society organisations, together with researchers from universities, used their curriculum, assessment, and social economy expertise to develop contextualised definitions of life skills and values, and associated assessment tools. The book also reports on levels of these competencies of over 45,000 adolescents, from a household-based assessment conducted in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The results describe how these adolescents vary in proficiency by region, age, and other factors, providing a resource for national education ministries to factor into policy decisions. 

Given the technical requirements of measuring individuals’ social-emotional and related competencies, how is it possible to capture an adolescent’s life skills across varied contexts? The book provides readers with a pragmatic yet technically robust process for undertaking a large-scale assessment program designed to inform policy.


Table of contents (12 chapters)

Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

    Esther Care

  • Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education, Kampala, Uganda

    Mauro Giacomazzi

  • Zizi Afrique Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya

    John Kabutha Mugo

About the editors

Esther Care is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and publishes in peer reviewed journals in psychometrics, assessment, and education reform. Previously a Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution, Washington DC, Esther leads regional projects which explore integration of 21st century skills into education policy and practice. Her specific interest lies in exploring approaches to assessment of 21st century skills through which pursuit she acts as Technical Adviser to ALiVE. 

John Kabutha Mugo is Executive Director, Zizi Afrique Foundation, Kenya. He researches foundational literacy and numeracy, whole-child development, and parental and youth engagement. He is Principal Investigator of Assessment of Life Skills and Values in East Africa (ALiVE), developing contextualized tools across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. John led the Uwezo learning assessments in East Africa, and chaired the Department of Special Needs education at Kenyatta University. 

Mauro Giacomazzi serves as Education Adviser at the Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education. Passionate about education, Mauro has a diverse background in designing professional development programs to enhance teachers' competencies in instructional design and to assess life skills. As a Principal Investigator of Assessment for Life Skills and Values in East Africa (ALiVE) and a Board member of the Regional Education Learning Initiative, he actively contributes to educational initiatives and development in the region.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Contextualisation of 21st Century Skills

  • Book Subtitle: Assessment in East Africa

  • Editors: Esther Care, Mauro Giacomazzi, John Kabutha Mugo

  • Series Title: The Enabling Power of Assessment

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2024

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-51489-0Published: 20 February 2024

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-51492-0Published: 20 February 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-51490-6Published: 19 February 2024

  • Series ISSN: 2198-2643

  • Series E-ISSN: 2198-2651

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 211

  • Number of Illustrations: 11 b/w illustrations, 8 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Education, general, Educational Policy and Politics, International and Comparative Education

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