For many years, schools and teachers are aware of the importance of so-called 21st Century skills to empower students to be successful in the new global society and economy.
Amongst those skills four of them are named by experts the super skills for the 21st Century. These four Cs of Education, as we call them, include critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. In this tool you can tag each of your activities with one or more of the four Cs for Education.
Critical thinking, closely linked to problem-solving, can be understood as the ability to apply a number high-order thinking levels including interpreting, analysing, synthesising, evaluating, as well as constructing new ideas. Instead of putting the focus just on memorisation, teachers must equip students with the skills to understand and solve real-world problems. Students must be encouraged to create and implement their designs or solutions. They must get the chance to generate ideas, procedures and alternatives. Building critical thinking skills will help students to be successful in a complex society.
Skilled communication means the ability to get your desired message effectively sent to your target audience. Communication skills have always been important, but the ubiquitous presence of digital media and communication channels has made the need for effective communication more apparent than ever. We have the ability to reach wide audiences and have a plethora of tools and channels at our disposal, spoken, written, visual or multimodal, in print or digitally.
Students need to acquire the skills, not only to use different ways of expressing themselves and building a dialogue, but also to reach high standards in the many other aspects related to skilled communication.
Learning occurs more and more in a collaborative setting with students being together in a learning journey. Moreover, employers require from prospective employees collaboration skills to perform in team work. Real collaboration takes place when students of a team have a shared responsibility to reach the common goal like discussing an issue, solving a problem or creating a product. High-level collaboration can also be increased when giving group members ownership about how they showcase their learning.
Students need to acquire the skills of negotiation, conflict resolution, listing to others and developing a common strategy to be empowered for their future careers.
Creativity and being a creative thinker allow students to be able to deal with problems which may not have been invented yet. Consequently, schools should allow students to acquire the ability to think divergently, which means to come up with a few options of a solution for the problems that they face. The out of the box thinking is one of the prerequisites of innovation, which is one of the key characteristics required nowadays. Our society is constantly changing and therefore our students need to have the skills to adapt to new realities.