21st Century Learning and the 4Cs; Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity, Grades K-12

As the world economy shifts away from manufacturing jobs and towards more creative jobs, there’s a consensus among parents, educators, politicians and business leaders that it is crucial students complete their K-12 education with the ability to identify and solve complex problems, think critically about information, work effectively in teams and communicate clearly about their thinking.

In the course, teachers will gain insight into the 21st Century skills and their relevance to education today. Shifts in the world including the proliferation of technological resources and information will be highlighted, as well as the skills students today will be expected to have in the workforce will be explored. While there are some unknowns about what tomorrow’s work will require, we know that significant shifts from past educational practices will be critical.

This course will explore practical teaching strategies to integrate 21st Century Skills and more specifically Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity & Innovation into classroom units and lessons.

Teachers will learn about the research base and innovations in each area, including, but not limited to, Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and Costa’s Levels of Questioning, using sentence starters, frames, and signal words in communication, explicitly teaching speaking and listening skills in addition to reading and writing, incorporating technology in the classroom, project-based learning, and more.

The 4 C’s of 21st Century Learning course has been divided into the following modules:

  1. 21st Century Skills and the 4Cs – Making it Happen
  2. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  3. Communication
  4. Collaboration
  5. Creativity and Innovation





Demonstrating Knowledge of Students


Designing Coherent Instruction


Establishing a Culture for Learning


Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques