Implementation of the 2012 upper secondary school curriculum in Mexico: a 21st-century framework enquiry




Educational reform, skills, curriculum, teachers, Mexico


Objective. This study aims to analyze how the new upper secondary school curriculum in Mexico captures 21st-century skills and teachers’ perceptions of success. Method. The design of the study complies a comparison analysis between the Mexican upper secondary school curriculum and a 21st-century skills framework. Additionally, qualitative data on teachers’ perceptions of success is collected through eight focus groups with 72 participants in 4 States of Mexico. Results. The findings show that the curriculum is short in strategies for the development of 21st-century skills. Moreover, although teachers welcome them, they perceive a lack of support and doubt about students’ learning capabilities. Conclusions. Although Mexico has progressed in providing a 21st-century skills learning environment through the new curriculum, the educational system remains with the opportunity to offer a more suitable and adequate framework as well as support and training for teachers.

Author Biography

Jimena Hernández-Fernández, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas

Profesora Investigadora del Programa Interdisciplinario sobre Políticas y Prácticas Educativas (PIPE) del Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) en México. Es Doctora en Educación por el Centre for International Education de la Universidad de Sussex en Inglaterra, Maestra en Administración y Políticas Públicas por el CIDE y Licenciada en Economía por el Instituto Politécnico Nacional en México.  Es autora del libro: “The Development of school leadership in England and México: insights and lessons” publicado en 2020 por el British Council. Es editora del libro: “Looking for Innovation and Systemic Improvement in Quality Englis


Ananiadou, K. & Claro, M. (2009). 21st century skills and competences for new millennium learners in OECD countries. OECD Education working paper, (41), 1-33.

Barrot, J. S. (2019). English curriculum reform in the Philippines: Issues and challenges from a 21st century learning, perspective. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 18(3), 145-160.

British Council. (2016). Unlocking a world of potential: Core skills for learning, work and society. Autor.

Bujanda, M. E., Muñoz, L., & Zúñiga, M. (2018). Initiatives and implementation of twenty-first century skills teaching and assessment in Costa Rica. In E. Care, P. Griffin, & M. Wilson (Eds.), Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills. Research and Applications (pp. 163-178). Springer International Publishing.

Cambridge Dictionary. (2021). Skills.

Cárdenas, S., Arriaga, R., & Cabrera, F. (2019). Desarrollo de Competencias para el siglo XXI en México: Cómo UNETE y las comunidades escolares amplían y fortalecen los objetivos de la educación mediante el uso de tecnología educativa. En F. M. Reimers y C. K. Chung (Eds.), Preparar a los maestros para educar integralmente a los estudiantes. Un estudio comparativo internacional (pp. 163-194). Harvard Education Press.

Care, E. (2018). Twenty-first century skills: From theory to action. In E. Care, P. Griffin, & M. Wilson (Eds.), Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills. Research and applications (pp. 3-17). Springer International Publishing.

Donovan, L., Green, T. D., & Mason, C. (2014). Examining the 21st Century Classroom: Developing an Innovation Configuration Map. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 50(2), 161-178.

Fernandez, R. M. (2013). Teachers’ competence and learners’ performance in the alternative learning system towards and enriched instructional program. International Journal of Information Technology and Business Management, 22(1), 33-46.

Fullan, M. & Langworthy, M. (2013). Towards a new end: New pedagogies for deep learning. The global partnership.

Gil Antón, M. (2018). La reforma educativa. Fracturas estructurales. Revista Mexicana de Investigación Educativa, 23(76), 303-321.

Hernández Fernández, J. & Rubio de los Santos, D. (2017). An alignment analysis of the British Council’s Core Skills and the mexican education model. British Council.

Kuh, L. P. (2016). Teachers talking about teaching and school: Collaboration and reflective practice via critical friends groups Teachers and Teaching, 22(3), 293-314.

Law, W.-W. (2014). Understanding China’s curriculum reform for the 21st century. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 46(3), 332-360.

Maphosa, C. & Mashau, T. (2014). Examining the ideal 21st century teacher-education curriculum. International Journal of Educational Sciences, 7(2), 319-327.

Marope, P. T. M., Chakroun, B., & Holmes, K. P. (2015). Unleashing the potential transforming technical and vocational education and training. UNESCO.

Mishra, P. & Mehta, R. (2017). What we educators get wrong about 21st-century learning: Results of a survey. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 33(1), 6-19.

OECD. (2015). OECD skills studies. Skills for social progress: The power of social and emotional skills. Autor.

Ortega Estrada, F. (2017). Principios e implicaciones del nuevo modelo educativo. Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Educativos, 47(1), 43-62.

Quinn Patton, M. (2015). Qualitative research &evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. SAGE.

Rotherham, A. J. & Willingham, D. T. (2010). 21st-century skills: Not new, but a worthy challenge. American Educator, 34(1), 17-20.

Sánchez Aguilar, M. (2014). Educación matemática crítica en México: Una argumentación sobre su relevancia. Didac, (64) 30-36.

Secretaría de Educación Pública. (2017a). El modelo educativo.

Secretaría de Educación Pública. (2017b). Los fines de la educación en el siglo XXI.

Seide, S. E., Jensen, K., & Kieser, M. (2021) Utilizing radar graphs in the visualization of simulation and estimation results in network meta-analysis. Research Synthesis Methods, 12(1), 96-105.

Tan, J. P.-L., Choo, S. S., Kang, T., & Liem, G. A. D. (2017). Educating for twenty-first century competencies and future-ready learners: Research perspectives from Singapore. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 37(4), 425-436.

Tindowen, D. J. C., Bassig, J. M., & Cagurangan, J.-A. (2017). Twenty-first-century skills of alternative learning system learners. SAGE Open, 7(3), 1-8.

van de Oudeweetering, K. & Voogt, J. (2018). Teachers’ conceptualization and enactment of twenty-first century competences: Exploring dimensions for new curricula. The Curriculum Journal, 29(1), 116-133.

Voogt, J. & Pareja Roblin, N. (2012). A comparative analysis of international frameworks for 21st century competences: Implication for national curriculum policies. Journal of curriculum studies, 44(3), 299-321.

Vreeburg Izzo, M., Yurick, A., Nagaraja, H. N., & Novak, J. A. (2010). Effects of a 21st-century curriculum on students’ information technology and transition skills. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 33(2), 95-105.

Yin, R. K. (2017). Case study research: Design and methods (applied social research methods) (5th ed.). Sage.

Zhao, Y. (2015). A world at risk: An imperative for a paradigm shift to cultivate 21st century learners. Society, 52(2), 129-135.



How to Cite

Implementation of the 2012 upper secondary school curriculum in Mexico: a 21st-century framework enquiry (J. Hernández-Fernández , Trans.). (2022). Revista Electrónica Educare, 26(1), 1-21.



Journal Articles (Peer Reviewed Section)

How to Cite

Implementation of the 2012 upper secondary school curriculum in Mexico: a 21st-century framework enquiry (J. Hernández-Fernández , Trans.). (2022). Revista Electrónica Educare, 26(1), 1-21.

Comentarios (ver términos de uso)