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21st Century Skills: The 6 C’s

Our world is changing rapidly in many ways. 

As a result, the workforce is different. Jobs we can’t even imagine are created every day.

As an educator, I feel it’s difficult to know how to prepare students for their futures! Teachers must foster relevant skills in the classroom: skills for the new world.

A teacher’s new mission is not only to prepare students for tomorrow, to be independent and self-sufficient; but also to be creative problem-solvers who are adaptable, working citizens of the world.

Here is a list of Michael Fullan’s 21st century skills — the 6 C’s — key life skills today’s students need for their world:

  • collaboration. When a group of people combine their unique knowledge, talents, and personalities to create a maximum result, they have collaborated effectively. The result will benefit each member of the group or community. Synergy occurs with effective collaboration; the common outcome has a greater value than the sum of values of each individual outcome. Our kids need to be effective collaborators.

  • creativity. Today, students must be able to create something new — or create something in a new way — with previously acquired knowledge. Creativity involves not only artistic pursuits, but also various solutions to real life problems. Students will need to adapt to changes in their world and workplace, and creativity comes in handy for that.

  • communication. Verbal and non-verbal communication are both important for the 21st century. Students must listen carefully, and articulate their ideas clearly and concisely. Communication is informing, instructing, motivating, and persuading – in writing, using one’s voice, and confident awareness of body language.  Students also need to communicate using technology.

  • critical thinking (& and problem solving). Effective problem solvers make sense of presented information and apply it to their daily lives. They question, filter, and analyze information found in media, and then synthesize it so it is meaningful and valuable. Again, students need to adapt to a changing world and workforce; critical thinking and problem solving are key skills for this reality.

  • character. Students need to become citizens who are responsible, contributing, and caring. Ethics and tolerance are offshoots of nurturing character in youth.

  • citizenship. Individuals must be aware of those around them, be in touch with everything surrounding them, and they must contribute to their community and world in a helpful way.

Can you help nurture these skills in your child? 


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