“Long before anything of value can be extracted, significant exploration and development needs to take place…”  from the World Gold Council

One of the goals of deeper learning is that we and our students grow in both understanding and demonstration of the 6 C’s.  We want to be better communicators, collaborators and critical thinkers.  We want to have the character of learners, develop our creativity and be better local and global citizens; and we want the same for our students. In his book, Deep Learning, Michael Fullan says that one of the results of deep learning is that it “deepens human desire to connect with others to do good”.  At the end of the day, that’s what we want for our LC students; for them to want to be part of a community to connect with others to do good in their world.  Our job is to build a circle of support that helps them achieve their desires.

We began our deep dive into the C’s by mining the NPDL progressions; while they are very dense, they provide a deep and multi-faceted understanding of what the C’s can look like.  We took each progression apart and put it back together again; looking for what was there and what was missing.  We all knew the words “collaboration” and “critical thinking”, but we wanted to dig deeper to find the rich veins of understanding buried in the progressions.  We created lists, charts and visuals to represent our understanding.  6 Cs VISUAL AP

We also wanted to know; where are our students at?  In the past, we asked our students, “What does critical thinking mean?”  “What does a good collaborator do?  Their answers revealed a very surface understanding; critical thinkers thought critically and good collaborators worked well together.  Our students didn’t yet know how to define the 6 C’s in a rich way that would motivate them to do the work of internalizing and demonstrating the C’s in their lives.  One of our goals for ourselves as teachers is to build opportunities for our students to not only come to a rich understanding of the C’s for themselves but to see how the C’s could help them become better learners and better citizens of their world.  What does collaboration look like in the gym and the science lab?  How can they bring creativity into their ELA work and build character in math class?

Our work this year is mining our curriculums; looking for authentic contexts to teach the competencies.  What does the front matter of our documents say about the C’s?  Our hope is to leverage our curriculum to help us build a powerful culture of collaborative learning.

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