21st Century Learning ...

...SKILLS FOR TOMORROW... excerpt from Edutopia's "A Parent's Guide to 21st Century Learning"

To prepare for college, careers, and citizenship, it’s not enough to master academics.
Students also need to acquire a set of skills that will last for a lifetime. To be able to
solve problems in our complex, fast-changing world, students must become nimble,
creative thinkers who can work well with others. (Not surprisingly, an IBM 2010 global
study of chief executive officers revealed that — more than any other skill — creativity
is most important for succeeding in today’s increasingly complex society.)

These competencies — known as 21st-century skills — are summed up as the “4Cs” by the
Partnership for 21st Century Skills (p21.org). They include the following:

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.

The 4Cs don’t replace academic learning goals. Students still need to become good
readers and writers, even though they may be learning and publishing on new platforms.
Using mathematics to solve problems, and seeing the world through the lens of the
scientist are essential for today’s learners. Students also need to draw their own
findings from history’s lessons. The ambitious goal is to integrate 21st-century skills
with rigorous core content so that students will master the 4Cs and the three Rs.

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