I’m currently reading Sir Ken Robinson‘s latest book, “Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution that’s Transforming Education” and he sums up what schools should focus on with these 8 C’s. Forego ABC’s or forget the 3 R’s, these 8 C’s are the core competencies that children should be able to develop and wherein all curricula should focus on:
CURIOSITY: The ability to ask questions and explore how the world works
Remember when all we hear in the classroom is the teacher’s voice because we were told to keep quiet the whole time? The learning process is a 2-way street. Encouraging learners to ask questions in the classroom, deepens their curiosity and makes them more engaged in the topic being discussed.
CREATIVITY: The ability to generate new ideas and to apply them in practice
The most downloaded and watched TEDTalk is Sir Ken Robinson’s “How Schools Kill Creativity”. Let’s be part of the statistic and watch it because it sums it all up..
CRITICISM: The ability to analyze information and ideas and to form reasoned arguments and judgments
Schools should focus more on critical thinking rather than information. Robinson says that they should be data-driven and not data-informed. Kids these days are in the middle of information explosions. They are bombarded with so much information online and even offline. They need to strengthen their critical thinking to know how to make use of these data, how to incorporate it correctly in his life and how to determine the truth from fallacy.
COMMUNICATION: The ability to express thoughts and feelings clearly and confidently in a range of media and forms
Children should be able to communicate their thoughts and express their feelings well. They should also be allowed to express it not just in written and verbal form but also in other media like the arts, dance, theater, etc.
COLLABORATION. The ability to work constructively with others
Children are social beings and an important skill is for them to be able to work/play well with others. Bouncing off ideas with one another not only strengthens their social domain, but also encourages good communication and critical thinking.
COMPASSION: The ability to empathize with other others and act accordingly
Major behavioral problems like bullying, prejudices, and violence stem from the inability of a child to empathize with others. Together with Collaboration, schools should have a culture of Compassion all the way from teachers being able to understand the plight of their students up to students being sensitive to the needs of the people around them. A lot of times, Conduct is only based on how the child behaves in the classroom, during class. Conduct is how a child conducts himself whether the teacher is looking or not.
COMPOSURE: The ability to connect with the inner life of feeling and develop a sense of personal harmony and balance
There are a lot of cases these days of children going through depression, anxiety and severe stress. Children need to develop not only compassion for others but also compassion for themselves. Schools focus more on the outside world when there is an inner world that kids dwell in daily which is built by their ability to control, understand and connect their feelings with what is going on around them. Socio-emotional development should be as important as cognitive development which is why schools should have programs that encourage kids to digress, step back, assess and express how they feel.
CITIZENSHIP: The ability to engage constructively with society and to participate in the processes that sustain it
The progressive theorist John Dewey said, “Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.” Children should be sensitive to the current events of the world around them be able to understand and have an opinion on their rights, on the responsibility of government and the laws that protect them. Schools should not just talk about this in Social Studies but rather develop a sense of citizenship (not necessarily conformity) and love of country.