One of the mandates of the STEAM program is to teach our student’s 21st century skills, which make up the 4 Pillars of STEAM. We champion the 4C’s – Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication. According to P21, 21st Century learning and the 4 C’s are an integral part of a student’s development and will continue throughout their adult life.
While all the C’s are important, arguably Critical Thinking holds the most weight. We are always asking our students to think critically. But what does that mean? What does that look like in our classrooms?
The Government of British Columbia has developed a framework of Core Competencies that aid in the implementation of 4 C’s learning. Using that framework, we have developed and adapted language that reflects the type of Critical Thinking we are looking for in the STEAM Program. During activities students are prompted to think about their own thinking. Using words like analyze, explore, and evaluate we encourage students to determine the best use for their materials and plans. This could include figuring out which material makes more sense to build with vertically (e.g., rigid or flexible) or which design makes the most sense. Students are also challenged to recognize that in order to move forward, they will have to understand what, if anything, went wrong…or went right, and document the changes they made.
What does Critical Thinking mean to you? What does it look like in your classroom…what do you think it should look like? Leave your thoughts here: