Wednesday, May 15

A TO Z...21st century learning

21st century learning--it's something you hear a lot about these days, but do you really know what it means? Doesn't it  have something to do with computers, the Internet and technology? With mastering the skills necessary to compete in our rapidly changing, global society? I have to admit I was a little fuzzy on the subject before reading Edutopia's A Parent's Guide to 21st Century Learning. Here's what I learned.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills defines the key competencies that form the basis of 21st century learning or the "4Cs" as:

  • Collaboration: Students are able to work effectively with diverse groups and exercise flexibility in making compromises to achieve common goals.
  • Creativity: Students are able to generate and improve on original ideas and also work creatively with others.
  • Communication: Students are able to communicate effectively across multiple media and for various purposes.
  • Critical thinking: Students are able to analyze, evaluate, and understand complex systems and apply strategies to solve problems.
If you're more of a visual person, check out the video above from Thesys International to see the 4Cs in action! So that's what all the hubbub is about! 

While the 4Cs won't replace reading, writing and arithmetic, they help push parents and educators to re-think the way we teach our children. Kids today will hold dozens of jobs in the course of their lifetimes--and who knows what these jobs will be. Chances are they haven't even been "invented" yet. What we do know is that students won't succeed unless we prepare them to be highly creative, flexible thinkers with the emotional intelligence to communicate and work well with others.

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

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