At my school, we are developing a set of competencies that will assist our students to become capable 21st Century students that have a set of skills that will enable them to work effectively in a range of situations. Our competencies are taken from the Partnership for 21st Century skills. (www.p21.org)
The 4 C’s:
- Critical Thinking
In Changing Education Paradigms, Sir Ken Robinson says that by design, schools stifle the creativity of students, by boxing them into a ‘one size fits all’ method of education. Out students come to school creative, but leave after being moulded to the be the same as many others. We need to allow students to show their creativity and to think for themselves. To help them to create innovative solutions to problems that they will face as they grow older and contribute to society.
As the world becomes smaller and globalisation takes hold, our students need to be able to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds. Effectively communicating in different situations and for different purposes will be vital for success in the 21st Century.
Working with others to achieve a goal will be necessary for success in the 21st Century. The people our students work with may not be in the same office, or even the same building, but could be in another part of the world, working on the same project in a different time zone. Forming relationships, and recognizing the strengths, weaknesses and abilities of other group members and capitalizing on those for the benefit of the group.
Students have an incredible amount of information available to them at the tips of their fingers through ‘net connected devices. However, sometimes this information may not be accurate, and could easily be out of date by the time the students get to it. Developing the ability in our students to reason, deduce, evaluate and reflect on the information that is available to them will enable them to make informed decisions about what it useful or not.