I’ve written the following thought five years ago when I was still teaching in a language institution. The idea of 4Cs is needed to be applied not only in schools but also at home. How’s that? It’s simply because parents are the main educators for their children.
Here’s I rewrite this in my blog.
To gain a successful teaching, a teacher/an educator should apply these 4 Cs which are Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking in the classroom. The idea of these 4 Cs might have been done in some classrooms before, though some say it is the things needed in 21st-century classrooms.
The idea itself has never changed, but it has been transformed in a different term related to the era when the education takes place. Take today’s generation for example, today’s learners are some digital native who are more familiar to the newest technology. Therefore, some teachers and educators should be able to adapt to it and be familiar with the technology.
The learning process and the teaching aids can be somewhat different from one class to another. However, these 4 Cs should be applied in all the classrooms in order to create not only a successful teaching but also some successful learners.
The 4 Cs are as follows:
One of some things needed in successful teaching is communication. It is a two-way communication not only between a teacher and students but also among students. Therefore, it is important for a teacher to have communication skills.
To teach means to make students know, understand, and apply the lesson in a contextual real life. To teach means to express, not to impress. It’s not necessary for us to use some sophisticated words or phrases if the message is not delivered. How can we expect students to apply the lesson if they don’t get the message?
Communication is also something that helps a teacher in promoting student-student interaction in class. How can it be? It is simply because learning process will work if the students are involved in it. Let them get their own eureka. That way, the lesson learned will last longer in their memory and they will find their own way to figure out the solution of every problem related to the lesson. All in all, let the students find the joy in learning through (one of many ways) a workable communication.
Grouping is one of some ways to promote student-student interaction in class. It is not only a part of classroom management but also a way for students to learn to work in a team.
There’s another benefit -if I may call it- of grouping and letting the students learn something through a game. I had this student, an 8 year-old girl, in class. She’s a quiet student. She barely talked in class and if she did, it took extra effort to hear what she said. Whenever I asked the students to pair up, nobody wanted to choose her to be his/her partner. Unless I paired them up/I grouped them, she’d be all by herself.
One day, she amazed me when I gave the students an activity in groups. I grouped the class into 4 groups. In this group activity, she successfully showed the real her. She could play the game well and do the instruction correctly. She was welcomed by her group friends. They worked well as a team. While observing the students playing “Running-to-the-wall Game”, I could see and assess that she learned and understood the lesson well. She just needed a unique way to show it.
It is, indeed, the power of grouping. The power of collaboration among students.
Albert Einstein once said that it’s the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Teaching is not about telling students some new things. It is simply about awakening students’ curiosity. The teacher should be able to find “the right button” so that the students will be triggered to always want some more knowledge. Therefore, they must be equipped with some tools to be independent learners.
One of the tools a teacher can give is awakening a student’s creativity. It surely is something beyond telling or teaching. The teacher should create some activities that involve students. Let the students find their own way in finding a solution to a problem given. Let them be a problem solver. The teacher assist them only if they seem to be out of track. This shows us that “spoon-feeding or lecturing-kind-of-way” will hamper students’ creativity. It will lead to the case when students become dependent learners which is obviously not the goal of learning a lesson, right?
A class should be ‘a laboratory” for the students to prepare themselves to live in the real world. The most important of all is that to awaken students’ creativity means being a creative teacher.
“Non scholae sed vitae discismus” is a Latin phrase which means that we don’t learn for school, but for life. School is supposed to be a place where people learn how to prepare themselves to cope with the things faced in the real world. That’s why teaching is not only about transferring knowledge from a teacher to the students. It should be beyond delivering certain lessons in a class.
To prepare the students to deal with the real life-problems means to equip them with some thinking skills. Yes, thinking skills. Motivating the students to be critical is one thing. Letting them to figure out the problems faced so that they are able to cope with those problems by finding the right solutions is another thing. Arousing students’ curiosity and ‘training’ them to have a critical-thinking skill is surely what a teacher should do in a class. Making the students have this skill will prepare them to deal with the real-life problems. That way, the teacher will successfully create some problem solvers.
In brief, teaching in class is about preparing the students to be independent learners so that they will be ready to learn more outside the classroom. Learning is a process which should benefit students to their life.
In short, we all raise children of the future. They will have their own time, their own ways, and their own world to deal with to survive. We might not be there for them, but we surely can help them prepare their future by installing the 4Cs now. Life is not ours to see, we prepare for it, instead.
(It’s written on March 27, 2017 and rewrite today)