At Alaka’i O Kaua’i Charter School, what’s important is not only ensuring learners are receiving an academically well-rounded education but also that they have the tools they need to succeed in an ever-changing world. That’s why we place a high priority on 21st-century skills.
These skills are essential in a worldwide market that’s moving faster by the day, and they funnel to a key focus: a person’s ability to enact and/or adapt to change.
Why? Because we live in a world where long-established industries are now regularly disrupted with new ideas and methodologies. Kids are preparing for work in an era when nothing is guaranteed, and it’s important to be adaptable.
When we speak about 21st-century skills, we’re talking about those things that help learners adapt and thrive in a world that is increasingly more dependent on technology as well as a global economy and workplace. The 12 essential 21st-century skills include the following:
- Critical thinking
- Information literacy
- Media literacy
- Technology literacy
- Social skills
Through individualized instruction and project-based learning, we celebrate and foster each child’s individuality and support them in discovering their highest potential. We believe each child will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to achieve their fullest potential in preparation for college and the demands of the 21st-century workplace.
Succeeding in the 21st century calls for skill sets that go beyond the basics mandated by densely packed education standards and what’s evaluated on standardized tests. Learners also need to build skills sets that will last a lifetime. To solve problems in our complex, fast-changing world, learners must become nimble, creative thinkers who can work well with others.
In line with the 12 skills identified above, there are four Cs Alaka’i O Kaua’i focuses on instilling in learners, as identified by the Partnership for 21st-Century Skills:
- Collaboration: Learners are able to work effectively with diverse groups and exercise flexibility in making compromises to achieve common goals.
- Creativity: Learners are able to generate and improve on original ideas and also work creatively with others.
- Communication: Learners are able to communicate effectively across multiple media and for various purposes.
- Critical thinking: Learners are able to analyze, evaluate, and understand complex systems and apply strategies to solve problems.
It is critical to keep in mind that those 4Cs don’t replace academic learning goals; rather, they complement and enhance them.
Since Alaka’i O Kaua’i ’s inception, we have been committed to helping develop well-rounded kids, those who are lifelong learners empowered to lead and succeed in a changing world. By incorporating 21st-century skills, we’re making sure they’re ready for anything they face in their journey.
Pictured: Alaka’i O Kaua’i classroom, February 2020.