22 June 2018
For decades we’ve been familiar with the three ‘R’s – Reading, Writing and a-Rithmetic, but how many of us are up to speed with the four ‘C’s – Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking? Labelled as ‘The 21st Century Skills’, the four C’s are now deemed important for young people to have as they leave school and enter the workforce. In strong recognition of the need for these skills, Richard Riley, former US Secretary of Education has famously said, “We are preparing our students for jobs that don’t exist using technologies that have not been invented, to solve problems that we haven’t even considered yet.”
Even still, it’s hard enough to get kids doing homework for the subjects they know let alone for problems we haven’t even conceived yet! So how can we properly prepare them for a future job market that we can’t predict? As educators we are now trying to equip young people with necessary skills of adaption. And this is where the four C’s come into the play: we are aiming to have students become lifelong learners; we are helping them to collaborate with others; we are working to enable them to think critically and creatively solve problems. We, as teachers, are beginning to have intentional focus on these skills. We are starting to change the way we teach and embrace new classroom dynamics. We are beginning to realise that the hardest questions and biggest problems of today may not have just one answer in tomorrow’s reality.
So let me bring you up to speed with these four C’s: COLLABORATION – Students must possess the ability to collaborate seamlessly in both physical and virtual spaces on a potentially global scale. This skill will be nurtured in a classroom environment where they are working with others to complete certain tasks. CREATIVITY – Students need to be able to think and work creatively in both digital and non-digital environments to develop unique and useful solutions. They love to create, so our classrooms will be capturing this enthusiasm and allowing their creative juices to flow! COMMUNICATION – Students love to communicate, with and without technology. Whether talking face to face, blogging, texting or creating a visual product, their values and beliefs are defined by how well they communicate with others. Their ideas and creative solutions are pointless unless they can be communicated! CRITICAL THINKING – In the future, complex problems (not even conceivable right now) will be everywhere. So the more we can focus on student ability to think critically and devise effective solutions to real-world problems, the more successful they will become.
I am excited about the journey Avondale School is on. We are totally committed to preparing our students for their future – one focused on these 21st Century skills and one full of potential for each individual.
Leading Learning Team