What will people think?

Thinking about what other people think can be a sign of inhibition or empathy. It can be timid and constraining or open-minded with active curiosity about other people’s perceptions, leading to deeper understanding and intellectual growth.

The “Three Rs” have been with us for a very long time and are the accepted basics of education. Technological and social changes mean that they are no longer enough to prepare us for a productive life.

The “Four Cs” of critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity are now described as key twenty-first century skills. They are essential elements of teaching and learning as we encourage students to be curious, aware and open to learning from different viewpoints. They are integral to education for social purpose.   empathy This simple illustration can prompt a lot more thinking. It shows why dialogue is important.

We can explore the “Four Cs” in terms of teaching and learning, lesson planning and curriculum development. Adult educators might also think outside the confines of our own experience and enthusiasm to think about how others feel about the prospects and potential of adult learning. Do they see what we see?

What do you think?

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About Ann Walker
Adult education and lifelong learning specialist and campaigner. LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1GI0QK1

4 Responses to What will people think?

  1. Hugh Humphrey says:

    I think the ‘Four Cs’ are excellent guidelines for enhancing our teaching and learning and help to develop the concept of social purpose beyond the rather mechanical process of getting people involved in community activity, good as this outcome is. Changing society for the better is first and foremost about changing mind sets and that can begin in the WEA class.
    Recently I had two people who were schizophrenic in my Life Stories class (who were more than happy to inform us of this) and the learning curve for them and the rest of the class was tremendous, encompassing as it did, all the ‘Four C’s’. Small steps in changing society for the better were taken there in the class room. Beginning to understand how other people see things, as suggested in the illustration, was part of the process. And this can happen wherever you have a rich diversity of backgrounds within a WEA class.

  2. Ann Walker says:

    “Changing society for the better is first and foremost about changing mind sets…” Well said, Hugh.

    Thank you for sharing this excellent example of the ‘Four Cs’ in practice.

  3. rsmayes43 says:

    It is interesting to note that the school curriculum changes coming into force in 2014/15 also emphasise the importance of the ‘Four Cs’ ( even though that term is not used). In amidst the despair about the amount of change schools are continually being asked to embrace , this really is a bright spot. I look forward to hearing more about this in relation to the WEA, ann.

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