The 3R’s Meet the 4C’s

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A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.
~Denis Waitley

We have all heard about the importance of the 3R’s (Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic). This simple saying helps underscore the importance of the basic skills needed to be successful in life.  To be successful In a 20th century world, one had to know how to read, compute basic math, and express oneself through writing. When we measured what students knew and could do, we would rely on lower-level skills of recall because most jobs required little more than that.

As we enter the information age, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that while these foundational skills are important, they are no longer sufficient on their own.  As a society, we are literally walking around with the entire Internet in our pockets.  The term google it has become a part of our vernacular, so being able to recall simple facts, figures, and dates isn’t as critical to workplace success.  It’s knowing how to use these facts that’s critical.  It’s knowing how they connect.  The skills we need for success in our information-rich world is wholly different than the 3R’s.  Enter the 4C’s…

If we think about the jobs our children will fill, they require a skill set that allows them to better interact with others and to learn on a whole new level.  The 4C’s allow educators to combine a strong foundation into higher level learning experiences.

  • Critical Thinking – Students need the ability to analyze, interpret, evaluate, make decisions, and solve problems, as well as to review and understand a variety of information sources in order to make informed decisions.
  • Communication – Students must be able to share information and express their thoughts and opinions clearly to others.  Communication also requires strong listening and evaluation skills to aid in collaboration. Kids need to be adept at developing written, spoken, and multimedia products.
  • Collaboration –  Students have to know how to work with others to accomplish a goal.  They need to be flexible and responsible group members.  Collaborative experiences allow students to fulfill different roles within a group and gain experience with the various levels of leadership.
  • Creativity – Students’ abilities in areas such as brainstorming, refining ideas, being responsive to ideas from others, and making ideas tangible and useful to others are critical. Students need to be product oriented and think with the end in mind.

In Pleasantdale, we are in the midst of an evolution of how teachers teach and students learn.  Across the district, we are having conversations that allow us to reflect on our classroom practices and ensure that we are providing our students with the experiences that will lead to future success.  Our teachers are committed to bringing out the best in their students.  The staff at our schools will continue to reflect and refine to create an experience that best meets the needs of our students.

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