The Middle States Association is a worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 125 years, the Middle States has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement.
The QSI International School of Kosovo is QSI systems accredited by the Middle States Association. The school maintains its accreditation with MSA through a continual process of identifying areas for growth and implementing a community supported action plan to push the boundaries of success and achievement in those areas.
As one of our accreditation objectives, QSI is embracing the 4C’s of 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication.
Critical thinking involves problem-solving, skepticism, and the ability to discover the truth by separating fact from opinion. It prepares students for independent and purposeful thinking, as they engage with the world, ask questions, and help others think critically. When one student masters critical thinking, it quickly spreads to their peers. While critical thinking is one of the four essential 21st-century skills, combining it with the next skill unlocks unlimited potential for achievement.
Creativity is a skill that can be learned through problem-solving, experimentation, and exploring new avenues. It doesn't guarantee that every student will become an artist or writer, but it enables them to approach problems from unique perspectives and tap into their strengths. Students learn to express their creativity in healthy ways and become motivated to share it with others. Creativity is contagious, as one student's innovative solution can inspire others. While not every creative endeavor succeeds, the essence of creativity lies in thinking differently and finding better ways of doing things. Collaboration with other 21st-century skills enhances the power of creativity.
Collaboration is vital because students will likely work with others throughout their lives. Every job involves some level of teamwork, even for simple tasks like deciding what to have for lunch. By practicing collaboration, students gain skills in problem-solving, presenting solutions, and making collective decisions. They also learn that different people have diverse perspectives. As students engage in collaborative efforts, they realize their ideas may differ from others', which can either discourage or empower them to contribute their unique viewpoints. Teachers should encourage students to see themselves from an empowering perspective, fostering their confidence to speak up and share ideas, even if they are not always unanimously agreed upon.
Communication is the act of conveying ideas clearly and efficiently. In today's text-based communication era, it is crucial for students to learn how to express their thoughts in a manner that others can understand. Effective communication involves considering tone, minimizing digressions, maintaining engagement, and reading the audience. By honing their communication skills, students can effectively convey their ideas, leave a positive impact, and streamline their thoughts. However, it is essential to recognize that communication alone is insufficient for success in 21st-century skills; students should combine all four skills for optimal results.
Stauffer, B. (2022, October 28). What are the 4 C’s of 21st century skills? CTE Curriculum for Middle and High School Teachers. https://www.aeseducation.com/blog/four-cs-21st-century-skills This article was paraphrased using ChatGPT in June 13, 2023.