“Today, because of rapid economic and social change, schools have to prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, technologies that have not yet been invented and problems that we don’t yet know will arise.” Andreas Schleicher, OECD Education Directorate.
What kind of education enables us to cope with an interconnected world? What are 21st century skills ?
There is no single widely-accepted definition of ‘21st Century skills’. Skills are approaches to learning that a leaner uses to engage in the process of learning.
Cambridge International is a skill based curriculum and an inquiry based approach that engage the learners beyond disciplinary boundaries and facilitate collaboration, communication, creativity, research and inter-disciplinary understanding .Teaching students how to learn is facilitated by Cambridge International Curriculum through ways of thinking and ways of working.The 4 C’s of 21st century skills are:
- Critical Thinking to find solutions to problems
- Creativity in thinking outside the box
- Collaboration in working with others
- Communication strategies and tools involved in conveying ideas
The 4 C’s capture the skills students should hone during their formal education to complement and drive knowledge acquisition and content mastery. Yet, there is an additional C that may be just as fundamental for learning and innovation: curiosity and question formulation.
Asking questions is not simply a means to gather information. Rather, by asking questions, students can identify their own knowledge gaps and think critically about what they are learning, assess information from individuals and other sources of information, think creatively and divergently, and work constructively with others.
There is a lot expected of classroom teachers as they juggle curriculum and evolving standards, all while attempting to address the individual needs of their students. One way to pivot to a curiosity-infused learning environment is by deliberately teaching students how to formulate questions with simple strategies that support the work educators are already doing.
Curiosity and the skill of formulating questions supports the 4 C’s in a 21st century classroom and motivate students to take action .