The children of today are heading towards an era that is going to be dominated by automation, flooded with data, and have an exponential growth rate of innovation. The economies are already global. Companies no longer stick to one location. The present generation which will form the future workforce will need to build upon and sharpen their 21st century skills from a young age. So, whether you prepare your children for 21st century or expect the school to do the same, you need to become privy about the skills they will ultimately and abundantly need going forward.
The 20th century reading, writing, and arithmetic skills are no longer sufficient. 21st century demands that the children of today have the following four Cs in addition to the three mentioned.
4 Must Have 21st Century Skills for Children
The four C’s of 21st Century skills which are essential inside the 21st Century Classrooms and must have for kids of today are
- Critical Thinking
This is a direct need for the world that will be partially controlled by intelligent robots capable of learning and executing the menial tasks. When redundancy will no longer exist, humans will have to use their creativity to move forward and stand out in the crowd that will also consist of competition from computers. Only with superior creativity can today’s children outrun technology and find employment in a future that looks to be both efficient and effective.
2. Critical thinking
All 21st century skills standards set critical thinking to its highest benchmark as the age of information also has the tendency to make the minds dull. Children now are continuously bombarded with information from every angle. Be it in schools, from the television, social media or newspapers. In order to make sense of these, the mind has to critically analyse the available data and only store what is useful. Amidst the flood, the children often feel lost on what to process and this is why fast critical thinking must exist in them as a skill. Both for their sanity and safety, critically thinking everything is primary.
The international boundaries are shrinking. They do not even exist over the internet. Companies right now acknowledge the benefits of having a diverse team on board and the workforce is expected to collaborate and gel with people from all over the work. Thus, a 21st century skills classroom will go beyond its way to teach the children of today the essence of teamwork. Soft skills like leadership, self-conduct, mutual respect and tolerance also come under this collaborative sphere. In the future, at least the corporate world is bound to work together.
If it was reading and writing in the previous century, then the 21st century skills for students in communication now includes speaking in more than one language, formally typing an email, verbal skills over Skype, and even public speaking to a large audience. Technology has evolved communication. It has made it easy but has taken away the body language factor from interaction. Hence, students need to learn how to convey their message without help from their expression. How to make things convincing just over text and videos.
To summarise, any discussion on why are 21st century skills important is trivial. The what and the how have become the need of the hour for all children of the modern era.