Two decades into the century, the need for 21st century skills remains.
While the term may feel worn, the need to provide students with skills for a rapidly changing world is no less urgent. We know our children will need to be able to think critically, collaborate with others, develop creative solutions, communicate across platforms, have strong character, and possess a foundation of cultural competence.

At Colorado Academy, our intentional efforts to ensure that these skillswhat we call the Six Csare central to teaching and learning, even at the youngest grades. We teach students how to define a problem, analyze factors, make decisions, and support them with evidence.

We also teach a process for developing insights and creative solutions. We make it a regular practice for students to solve problems that matter to students, not problems that adults tell them they should care about. And we give every student the time to practice these skills over and over again, making it safe to make mistakes, and to realize that failure leads to learning, and learning to success.

21st Century Teaching Tools:

List of 6 items.

  • Design Thinking

    An approach used with all ages to problem solve.
  • Performance Tasks and D-Quadrant Strategies

    Teaches students to think in complex ways to develop an answer to a problem.
  • Capstone Projects

    Multifaceted assignments that serve as culminating academic and intellectual experiences for Fifth, Eighth, and Twelfth Grade students.
  • Outside the Box

    A Seventh Grade course to train students to think differently and critically.
  • Global Perspectives

    A yearlong course for all Ninth Grade students using Design Thinking methodologies. Students learn to process and articulate divergent points of view, ideate, prototype, and analyze their thinking.
  • Innovation labs/Maker spaces

    Hands-on classrooms and laboratories in each division that provide access to materials and machines, along with the time and space to think, create, and innovate.

The Six Cs

Today, there is a wealth of information about what skills students will need to be successful in the future. Authors including Tony Wagner, Daniel Pink, Sir Ken Robinson, Dan Heath, Carol Dweck and others share the belief that preparing for tomorrow’s world means learning today a set of agile and adaptable skills. In every age group and through each discipline, we emphasize our Six Cs of 21st century skills: critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, cultural competence, and character development.

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