For more than two decades now, education experts, policymakers, and business leaders have been calling the education community to action with this startling revelation – rote memorization and automated learning experiences are not going to prepare students for an ever-changing, information-driven society and work place.
A focus on needed “21st Century Learning Skills” was demanded and has – since it’s inception – saturated the educational learning sphere. Decision makers and educators alike turned to the then newly minted “4Cs of 21st Century Learning Skills” – Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity – as a framework and guide to the types of skills they wanted to organically grow in classrooms across the nation.
These competencies remain applicable as we get further into our current century, argues David Ross, global education consultant and former CEO of P21, “because they seem to be the one constant in a rapidly changing social and economic environment.”
But the 4Cs are not just another trend – it’s a learning movement that hopes to empower both educators and students alike. Ken Kay, co-founder of the influential consortium called the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (later rebranded Partnership for 21st Century Learning, or P21), stated, “People are interested in not just adopting the 4Cs, but understanding what they can do to customize this framework at the local level. What can they design that works well for their community?”