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Social Science teacher from California

I would agree that the idea

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I would agree that the idea of these 4 C's is a great start to thinking about the restructuring of the education system as a whole. I do feel that schools today lack the capability (for a variety of reasons) to properly prepare students for the 21st century work place. More importantly, I feel that students are not being taught how to actually use the knowledge that they acquire. We need to focus on how to actually connect the curriculum and standards to real life/job skill applications. Take social studies for instance, many of the standards today just focus on analyzing key events, which is good, but it does nothing for the students post-college. What we should begin to think about is how to teach social science in such a matter, that students can take what they have learned from key events in history and applying to present and future issues. I believe that many teachers can and would do this, however, the standards and the time restraints do not allow for us to do so. Ironically, the Four C's can thrive greatly in the social science department, despite the fact that social science today seems to be losing out in concern to Language Arts and Math.

Social Science teacher from California

I would agree that the idea

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I would agree that the idea of these 4 C's is a great start to thinking about the restructuring of the education system as a whole. I do feel that schools today lack the capability (for a variety of reasons) to properly prepare students for the 21st century work place. More importantly, I feel that students are not being taught how to actually use the knowledge that they acquire. We need to focus on how to actually connect the curriculum and standards to real life/job skill applications. Take social studies for instance, many of the standards today just focus on analyzing key events, which is good, but it does nothing for the students post-college. What we should begin to think about is how to teach social science in such a matter, that students can take what they have learned from key events in history and applying to present and future issues. I believe that many teachers can and would do this, however, the standards and the time restraints do not allow for us to do so. Ironically, the Four C's can thrive greatly in the social science department, despite the fact that social science today seems to be losing out in concern to Language Arts and Math.

Ken is the CEO of EdLeader21

I really want to address this

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I really want to address this question of whether we should be helping districts with their 21st century education strategy. I must say I'm a little amazed by the inference that we should help school leaders but not district leaders. To me, both school and district leaders need to understand the critical role each can play in 21st century education.

Those school reform advocates who just focus on school level reform, haven't gotten far enough. Their reforms don't work and don't scale if district leaders are not supportive. Moreover, district leaders currently hold the purse strings. For those reason we need a generation of district leaders who understand "distributed leadership" and what they need to do to support transformational efforts at the school level.

We were just with 150 leaders of education from around the country who are implementing the 4 C's and 21st century education at both the school and district level. It was re-affirming to see district leaders who really understand what they need to do to move the 4 C's forward at the school level. I think it is a mistake to write these visionary leaders off. Rather they can serve as role models for a new generation of district leadership. The liklihood that we can scale as fast as we need to by doing these reforms school by school seems very remote to me.

Ken is the CEO of EdLeader21

I am sorry i didn't put the

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I am sorry i didn't put the four C's in this blog. (they were in most of the previous ones.) The 4 C's are:
--critical thinking
--communication
--collaboration
--creativity
However, many of the districts that we are working with use the 4 C's as a starting point for their discussions. Many of them add other 21st century outcomes such as:
--global competence
--self-direction
--tech literacy
--financial literacy.
The 4 C's are just meant as a starting point for your school or district's discussion about 21st century learning outcomes.
Hope this is helpful.

Ken

I would also like to know

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I would also like to know what the four C's are. I agree with Teacher01 one reply hundred percent. I currently enrolled in a Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment masters program. Some of our topic have been about collaboration and reflection. So these topics are currently on my mind. Being a Intervention Specialist, I do a lot of collaboration and wish the teachers I worked with really understood your comment. Maybe we need to incorporate more PLC project-based learning into our curriculum. I do some project-based learning when I am doing solo teaching but not in the co-teaching settings. In the field of special education its essential to our students success to have portfolios, rubrics, and capstone projects. The last part of her post makes the biggest difference in ensure our students' success

Teaching with the end in mind

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I think it is very important that when we are working with PLC's that we use assessment data to guide instructional planning. Collaborating in professional learning communities is a great way to share the responsiblity of increasing student achievement and learning. When we teach with the end in mind it allows us to be more reflective and analytical about our practices. The project-based learning, student portfolios, rubrics, and capstone projects mentioned are authentic ways to assess student learning and growth. Analyzing this type of data will be more beneficial than pencil and paper tests because authentic assessments are designed to meet the needs and interests of the students.

HS computer science teacher

4Cs

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In this article, you never state what the four Cs are, for the benefit of readers who might not know them.

Director - Center for Transforming Education at The Heartland Institute

Is "21st Century School District" an oxymoron?

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I know I'm one of the few people who raise this issue relative to education, but why do we even need school districts in the 21 Century (or any other for that matter?)

I would make the case that all of the above points (4Cs, 7 habits, etc.) are either made impossible or more difficult by the "district" infrastructure.

Districts are not independent. They are creatures of the state school code, which is increasingly a creature of whatever new fad they are promoting out of DC and the DOE.

None of these top-down bureaucratic infrastructures are necessary, or even conducive, to connect one neuron in one child's head. ALL of the ideas to improve "school leaders" and "school leadership" should be done at the school level.

The 21st century should be the century where we unwind the needless entity called a school district, and start the process of 1000s of new, independent schools.

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