What Are The 4 C’s of The 21st Century?

Publish on April 15, 2021
Education Trends STEM Education
The 4 C’s of The 21st Century

Have you heard of the 4 C’s of 21st century skills? Do you know what they are? Communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity are considered the four c’s and are all skills that are needed in order to succeed in today’s world.

Not only are these skills important to have on their own, but by combining all of these skills, students are empowered to solve their own problems, work together, and come up with solutions.

It is important to encourage development in all of these areas to help set your child up for success in school and their future workplace. So what are the four C’s and how can we teach them to our kids?


1. Communication: sharing thoughts, ideas, and questions.

Teaching children that communication can come in many ways is important. It is not just speaking verbally with someone to communicate but can also be non-verbal cues such as hand gestures and facial expressions. Now that we live in such a digital world, it is also important to teach children how to navigate digital spaces with responsibility.


2. Collaboration: working together to reach a common goal.

Most career paths require people to work together in some capacity. It is important for kids to start learning how to problem solve and tackle issues in which the bigger picture involves more than just themselves. It can be difficult for younger children to see the side or stance from someone else’s point of view. This is a skill that takes lots of time practicing.

Critical Thinking

3. Critical Thinking: looking at problems in a new way.

Part of critical thinking is problem solving, working through things like puzzles that challenge the brain, and simply asking “Why?”. But in today’s world where we can get information at the click of a button, a large part of critical thinking is being able to look at information and decide if it is credible or not.


4. Creativity: trying new approaches to solve problems.

Being creative is often thought of when students are artistic or musical, but it is so much more than that. Creativity simply just means to think outside the box and that can be in any area. Creativity can be taught and fostered by encouraging children to try new things and by creating a safe space for them to express themselves.

Why are these skills important?

The 4 C’s go hand in hand with each other and children need to be equipped with the skills in all four areas to help them succeed in their future. Hiring mangers and employers seek out candidates with these skills, so it’s important to instill them in our youth early on. That is why it is called “4 c’s of 21st century skills“.

At Engineering For Kids, our programs allow students to explore these concepts through any of our classes and camps. Students work together, come up with solutions to real work problems, and communicate with each other to come up with a creative solution. Learn more about our classes and camps by finding your closest location.

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