Education used to consist of the three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. In the 21st century, education has evolved to incorporate the most vital learning skills of today, the 4 C’s: critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating. One of the most valuable services that any teacher can provide for his or her students is help them prepare for lifelong learning. Learning skills are not just useful in the classroom, but throughout the course of a lifetime.
Critical thinking involves careful, focused attention to the matter at hand, and includes analysis, classification, evaluating and problem solving. This is a valuable skill for any person, child or adult. Creative thinking, in contrast, is often more “out of the box.” Such techniques involved in this learning skill include brainstorming, imagining, innovation, and questioning. This learning skill brings about the discovery of the world of possibilities.
Communication is one of the most important learning skills that anyone can master. The ability to transfer information to another person, either orally, written, or electronically, is the key to the modern world. Learning skills that teach communication will allow any student to successfully navigate the modern world. Finally, collaborating involves working towards a common goal. Few people are able to make their way through life without any other human contact. Leading or following, being able to work with others is a valuable learning skill.