Traditionally, students were told that they needed to master the “three Rs” – reading, writing and arithmetic — to prepare for a successful future. Today, some education and business stakeholders say the nation needs to add what they are coining as the “four Cs,” which encompass more dynamic skills related to critical thinking, according to a recent survey.
The findings in the American Management Association (AMA) 2010 Critical Skills Survey address some of the same issues such as employability in a global economy – a significant area in which CTE programs aim to tackle. The survey, which was conducted in partnership with 21st Century Partnership Skills, includes responses of 2,115 managers and other executives in AMA member and customer companies about the importance of the four Cs to their organization. The business and industry input may provide more insight to the notion of career readiness – a high-profile topic in which education stakeholders across the nation are not quite aligned.
The AMA survey defined the four Cs as:
Critical thinking and problem solving – including the ability to make decisions, solve problems and take action as appropriate;
Effective communications – the ability to synthesize and transmit your ideas both in written and oral formants
Collaboration and team building – the ability to work effectively with others, including those from diverse groups with opposing points of view
Creativity and innovation – the ability to see what’s not there and make something happen