Well, in the blog post 9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn, Leo Babauta compiles a pretty good list.
Leo begins by lamenting his own traditional education. An education that left many of the skills required in the world that never stops changing. He goes on to say that he and his wife are homeschooling their kids to allow them to explore their own education and not be stifled by the traditional education model.
He then spells out the 9 skills he seeks to instil in his kids, and recommends all children be taught.
Asking questions: Being able to learn on their own.
Solving problems: Being able to learn or do anything that needs learning or doing.
Tackling projects: Develop confidence and the habits of seeing large tasks thought to the end.
Finding passion: Allowing, and encouraging, the child to find and follow their interests.
Independence: Encourage independant trial end error, allow them to gain confidence through their own mistakes and accomplishments.
Being happy on their own: Make time for the child to be alone, following their interests, avoid coddling, and meddling.
Compassion: Be the example of compassion. Talk about the feelings of others, and how it is possible to help.
Tolerance: Allow for interactions with different people of different backgrounds. Encourage inclusiveness, and respect.
Dealing with change: Apreciate unpredictability, allow for adventure. Embrace whims and maintain a positive outlook on the uncertain future.
These are all quite lofty. But having read them I was struck by how few of these qualities I allow my students to express in class. To the point where I'm not even sure that they can.
I have just conceived an idea for a group project that will have them write their own dictionaries based off the reading passages in our Elementary text books. I will attempt to tackle the first 3 skills on this list with this activity. It's a start.