Expand the 21st Century Skills Standards?

There is an interest to expand the 21st Century Skills educational standards from the current 4 "Cs", to 5 or 6 core skills. The current "4C's of 21st century" skills consist of 1) critical thinking, 2) creativity, 3) collaboration, and 4) communication. The 5th 'C' would represent "Computational" skills, or computational thinking, and become another core skill of the 21st Century Skills, and would be taught to all students. Computational thinking is the thinking skills that are employed in understanding a problem and formulating a viable solution. More specifically, computational thinking is fundamentally about using analytic and algorithmic concepts and strategies to formulate, analyze and solve problems so that a computer can potentially carry out the solution.

China has shown interest in also adding a "C" to the 21st Century Skills, representing "Cultural Competence", which could become core skill number 6.  Cultural competence is something every human could certainly use, especially with the digital era in such full swing. In essence, China advocates the importance of cultural competence in a global context. There are two documents that support this work: Framework for State Action on Global Education, and Teacher Guide to K-12 Global Competence Grade-Level Indicators. Cultural Competence will be a key feature of the application criteria when China launches their Global Schools Network (GSN) in 2018. Having 21st Century Skills that represent and embrace both 'computational' and 'cultural' skills makes total sense. Stay tuned!

By:  Larry Johnson 
Project Manager