C21 Canada defines seven Learning Competencies required for students to read, comprehend, analyze information and content required in school and to engage in deep learning through inquiry and problem solving to achieve a deeper and more connected understanding about concepts and outcomes.
- Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Critical Thinking
- Culture and Ethical Citizenship
- Computer and Digital Technologies
Pages 10 to 12 Shifting Minds: A 21st Century Vision for Public Education
WHY the fuss about deep learning? With the ready access to knowledge and content on the internet, it is no longer important for people to memorize this any more. However, there is a huge need for competencies and skills to be developed at a much deeper level of analysis and thinking – notably in life, work and play.
In Canada, the content and learning outcomes for core subjects, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies are prescribed by national Kindergarten to Grade 12 frameworks and developed by educator teams from across the country. The programming generally follows widely-accepted international standards and research for content and process. Provincial departments of education develop local support materials for teachers to use in the classroom. These include curriculum and assessment materials. Pubishers use the national frameworks to develop learning resources, such as textbooks and IT applications which undergo an approval process for alignment with the curriculum.
Once content and learning outcomes are determined, students need to go about the process of learning and mastering the information. Depending on the learner, this can occur in different ways. Digital technologies, the internet and social media have opened up infinite possibilities for all students to access information, make sense of it and apply it in creating solutions to master their understanding of it like never before. The focus on memorizing information to learn is no longer a priority.
C21 Canada in its analysis of 21st Century Learning curricula world-wide defines 7 Competencies or learning skills that students need to use to engage and master the deeper understandings that are required in the diverse global IT-driven worlds of school, live and work. Research has uncovered that personalized learning models which align learning styles and ability are critical to student engagement, a key component required for deep learning in the 21st century. Students need to have a vested interest in what they are learning and the learning tasks need to match their ability to complete them.
21st Century Learning Competencies in whole and part have been described as:
- 4 Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity
- 6 Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity, Citizenship and Character Education
- SECRET: Self-manage, Engage, Create, Reflect, Enquire, Team
- Employability Skills
Some schools use the learning skills within a focus of Personalized Learning or Project-based Learning or Inquiry.