Just think, the most popular jobs of 2020 did not exist 10 or even five years ago, and this pace of change is accelerating. The World Economic Forum estimates that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. So how on earth can we prepare our children so that they can succeed in such an uncertain future? The answer is the four Cs. But what are these skills exactly, and how can we help our kids pick them up? In this blog, you’ll learn what each skill involves and why they are so important.
Introducing the four Cs
So, let’s meet our four C heroes:
- Critical thinking
With the introduction out of the way, let’s take a closer look at each.
Critical thinking is the ability to observe, experience and analyse information to establish its integrity. This is important in the 21st century because it’s harder than ever to verify accurate information (mostly thanks to the Internet). We now have so much information at the touch of our fingers that at times it can seem overwhelming. That is why critical thinking skills are becoming important, as they help us make reasoned judgments, find solutions to the knottiest problems, and work out what is fake and what is real.
With critical thinking, students don’t just learn a set of facts or figures. Instead, they learn how to discover the facts and figures for themselves. They ask questions. They become curious, flexible and open-minded learners and engaged in the world around them. This prepares students for a life of independence and purposeful thought. But remember, this is just one of the 4 Cs, and when kids combine it with our next C, the world is their oyster.
Creativity can be summed up as thinking outside the box to create something new. It’s been common wisdom for some time that some of us are creative while others simply don’t have a creative bone in their body. However, this is categorically not the case. While our children won’t all become artists and writers for sure, we can develop their creative thought processes by driving them to solve problems or just trying something they haven’t tried before.
Children should be encouraged to think differently from what convention demands. They should look at a problem from different angles, and feel free to suggest new ideas, no matter how off-the-wall. Of course, some of these ideas won’t work, but that’s OK. Failure can be the key to future success, as each mistake teaches us something new.
Collaboration is when we join forces with colleagues, classmates or friends to create something bigger and better than what we could have done on our own. When children collaborate, their confidence grows. Children make leaps and bounds in their learning journey as they seek help from their friends and realise that the sky’s the limit.
Collaboration is important because whether kids realise it or not, they’ll be working with other people for the rest of their lives. Pretty much every job needs someone to work with another person at some point in time, even if it’s for something as simple what to order for lunch. Practicing collaboration and teamwork helps children understand how to tackle a problem, suggest solutions, and decide the best course of action.
Communication is all about sharing ideas, asking questions and giving direction in ways that others understand. We begin communicating from the moment we are born; letting our mothers know we have arrived with our first cry. And as your child grows up, the importance of communication grows exponentially.
These days, children are often glued to devices for hours at a time. While as parents we’re eager to get our kids off their iPads and phone, it has become ever more important for children in the 21st century to learn how to convey their written thoughts in a way that others can understand them. Just think how often we turn to WhatsApp instead of picking up the phone and taking to someone! Text-based communications lack tone, and so it’s vital to learn how to understanding the context of someone’s words. Of course, verbal communication remains just as vital, and making presentations and speaking in public will be just as important in the coming years as it was before. So, children need to learn how to become confident, calm and enthusiatic speakers and presenters.
Putting it all together
To really succeed, children need to use all four Cs of the 21st Century together. Then, they can create a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts. When they enter their future careers, the children of today will be fully equipped with the tools they need to achieve almost anything! Here at Neoversity, we are committed to having the 4Cs at the heart of everything we do. Find out more here.