21st Century Learners
  • 17 Oct 2023
  • 1 Minute to read

21st Century Learners

Article summary

“You can’t teach about things that don’t exist yet, but you can teach someone to learn how to learn.“ - Leo SaLemi

Did you know that some experts identify that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 have not been invented yet? What does that mean for us as early childhood educators? We need to think of the young children we work with as global learners who will need some more universal tools we know, such as collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity, as well as those they will have to develop as they journey further in their life. These universal tools are sometimes called the Four C’s of 21st Century Learning. While changes will be rapid over time, these more universal tools are constant and can help children handle things that may come their way.

The children we work with today are children of the world, an interconnected world that we as adults did not experience at an early age. While concrete experiences with real three-dimensional objects, actual in-person relationships, and authentic problems to solve are of the most critical importance, children of today have access to tools and technology that we didn’t have when even sending people to the moon. Technology itself is neither good nor bad, but how we use these tools as tools to progress the 4 C’s could not be more important.

Teaching good problem-solving, being a critical thinking, will be important in solving new problems that our generations could not even dream of. People will be called to work together, collaboratively, to design greener spaces, determine how to best govern ourselves, and that takes a great deal of communication. It takes time and practice to understand verbal and non-verbal communication - and multiple languages, across cultures. But what excitement is there to be found in this new frontier.

The Learning Beyond Paper (LBP) Curriculum focuses on HOW to learn as well as teaching content based on developing all areas of developing in themes. Think of it as weaving threads within a fabric that can be shaped into a shirt, a hat, or a fancy dress - it can become anything because of the fabric (universal tools).

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