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).
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?
Interested in more?
The skills are sometimes referred to as "soft skills" and they are anything but that. Read Seth Godin's opinion on the matter - Let’s stop calling them ‘soft skills’
Check out AJ Juliani's article on Medium - 21st Century Skills Have Always Been “Needed” Skills, But Now We Need Them More Than Ever
In this post I also referenced McComas's The Language of Science Education (2014). You can access here from Sense Publishers https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6209-497-0
Note from the author: this post originally appeared on www.blackboardandbeyond.blogspot.com before being transferred here