Many educators, trainers, instructional designers, and non-educators alike have probably heard of or at least familiar with the idea of the 4 C’s for 21st Century Learning.
The 4 C’s include:
- Critical Thinking
Many thought leaders and educational reformists have suggested that the 4’Cs are the cornerstone of the classroom. Though I agree that these pillars are foundational for any learning environment and are essential for what curious minds need to develop as they progress on their lifelong learning journey, it doesn’t feel quite complete.
Since the inception of this framework, it seems that there have been many attempts to include more “C’s” such as curiosity, connectivity, and culture. Again, all these attributes are also important facets of education that we can’t ignore. However, in my opinion, none of these are the “C” that we need to include in our teaching practice.
If 2020 has taught us anything, awareness, mindfulness, and ultimately mental health are vital for personal and professional progression. The world is not the same; industries have been forced to live in the future and have had to pivot rapidly. The education industry is no different. The disruption has forced us to press the reset button on how we think about ourselves and how others interact with us through virtual learning environments. Even more so, I believe people have had to shift their mindsets and soul sets to rethink how they will adapt to a new world that is still very fuzzy and uncertain.
Thus, regardless of age group or grade-level or those invisible boundaries and barriers out of systemic necessity, I propose that education models can begin to integrate the missing “C” within the framework suggested earlier. That absent “C” is Consciousness, and the updated model that I have developed is known as the “Vitamin C” model. Yes, I know this sounds silly, but the more absurd — the better it will stick in your mind!
Just as vitamin-c is essential for cross-linking multiple collagen proteins and regulating various functional systems in the body, integrating consciousness practice as a part of education is suitable for supporting energetic connections of the heart, mind, body, and soul.
Thus, I’m proposing a capsule-like model whereby the outer shell represents consciousness. In contrast, the capsule inside holds all the other “C’s,” as mentioned earlier. Just as we take medicine to cure or lower the effect of ailments, a tablet is only optimal after the capsule has been consumed and enters the bloodstream. Therefore, all the internal “C’s” will only be effective if the learner has absorbed the out layer first before reaping the benefits of the binding portions on the inside.
The “Vitamin C” Model:
- Outside Capsule: Consciousness
- Inside Capsule: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, Curiosity, Connectivity, Culture, etc.
So you might be thinking about how you can implement the Vitamin C model within your training programs and classrooms. Well, for those committed to supporting a world of conscious learners who will ultimately become those conscious leaders for tomorrow, we require conscious educators today! If you’re interested, let’s connect and think through this together!
Until next time remember to continue to work hard on yourself but don’t be hard on yourself!
With sincere love, appreciation, and gratitude.
Dr. Karim Waljee
The Conscious Edupreneur