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  • Writer's pictureMegan Rodriguez

4 Cs of 21st Century Learning

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

Your #STEAMByte for the Week....

The 4 Cs of 21st Century Learning are a big component of STEAM education. They include collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. These four skills are what students should know and do to participate in the workforce and make informed decisions. The skills are focused on what students CAN DO with their knowledge rather than the knowledge itself (McComas, 2014).

The 4 Cs of 21st Century Learning - Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity

Students should have authentic opportunities to collaborate with their classmates, teachers, community members, and professionals in various content areas. Students should have chances to communicate with a variety of people using a variety of methods. Communication does not just occur through verbal means and it does not have to be face-to-face. Students communicate with others outside their home and school on a regular basis due to the internet and social media - it is time to find safe ways to embrace this and bring it into the classroom. We must teach them how to communicate effectively and responsibly. Students should be thinking critically every day. If you are doing more work and thinking than your students each day, then there is something wrong - you've already passed middle school, it's their turn now. Finally, students should have opportunities to be creative and innovative through the tools they use and the products they produce.

Its important to note that the focus on these skills being necessary for the 21st-century came about in the 1980s and 1990s - BEFORE the 21st-century - with the goal to prepare the next generation. We are, however, living in the 21st-century and over two decades into it. It is past time for these skills to be optional in schools! Not only should these skills be integrated into classroom lessons on a daily basis but we need to be intentional and deliberate in their integration to ensure they are meaningful and purposeful to the students.

How do you integrate the 4 Cs on a daily basis?


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Note from the author: this post originally appeared on before being transferred here

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