Are you aware of just how many things the 4 C’s describes? I was surprised to find there are the 4 C’s of Diamonds—clarity, color, cut, and carat; the 4 C’s of Credit—character, capacity, collateral, and capital; and the 4 C’s of Leadership—courage, commitment, confidence, and competence. All make great sense and the notion of the 4C’s is obviously quite compelling.
However, I must admit that the 4 C’s I was thinking of were communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. On the Above and Beyond website it says, “In an increasingly complex, demanding and competitive 21st century, students need to learn more than the 3R’s they are tested on in school. It’s time to help them go “above & beyond”, by embracing the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.” The website then goes on to share other thoughts and a delightful video that you can check out by clicking on the "ABOVE & BEYOND 4 C's"
I must admit that all of the four are cleverly included in this animation about two kids who get the same model kit and what they do with those kits.
There are so many things to focus on in the afterschool space that having these four identified skills might make it easier for everyone on your staff and in your program. When planning each activity you could include a checklist of sorts and ask yourself “Does this activity require youth to collaborate with one or more people?” Then move on and ask, “Does this activity require youth to be creative and utilize critical thinking skills?” Finally, you will want to be sure to ask, “Does this activity provide ample opportunities for youth to communicate both in writing and verbally what they have learned and what questions still remain?” When we are looking at the activity through the lens of these questions we can identify the gaps and then go back to the drawing board and include that in the planning.
Let us know how this litmus test works for you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org