Why the 4 Cs for Title 1 Schools?

There’s a movement afoot exemplified by edleader21 School Districts and Schools. These learning organizations recognize that the world is changing rapidly while many schools are not. Edleader21 schools and Districts seek to help their students develop the 4Cs; communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. The 4Cs are basic practices and skills that leaders know are important for learners to succeed and thrive in college, career, and life in the 21st century.

Title 1 schools are schools that have a large enrollment of children from families with low incomes. Rio’s schools are all Title 1 schools and serve a diversity of families with a majority with low incomes as well as many students who are learning English as their second language.

The 4 Cs really matter to all students but especially to students of need. Here are some basic responses to why the 4Cs matter to Title 1 kids;

  • working on the 4Cs is highly engaging and motivating
  • working on the 4Cs is fertile soil for building the literacy in reading and writing that children really need.
  • working on the 4Cs engages children in authentic, real world learning which adds to their experience and exposure to the world. Lower income families may have less opportunity to provide these worldly experiences.
  • working on the 4Cs embeds students in language including academic language. They get chances to hear, listen, speak, present and problem solve in rich learning environments. This type of learning has so much more potential than the quiet classrooms, filled with worksheet work, that is often the fare provided Title 1 learners.
  • working on the 4Cs is what every child deserves and schools are the main provider of these opportunities for Title 1 learners.
  • Society as a whole is better off, if the Creative Class that Richard Florida describes, grows from 30% to 70% of Americans. Working on the 4Cs develops the skills and practices that help the Creative Class thrive in the 21st century age of innovation.
  • working on the 4Cs allows teachers and school leaders to realize the amazing capability of Title 1 children. When you give kids a chance to problem solve in deep learning activities, when you allow them to talk,write, present, use technology and connect to each other and larger audiences, when you allow them and encourage them to creatively work to solve small problems as well as the large problems of the world today, we all see the children in a new light that is awe inspiring and hope producing for the world. 4Cs work cuts through the devastating Pygmalion effect  that so often oppresses Title 1 students in school systems that amplify their literacy deficits rather than maximizing their literacy growth in the context of great American learning that has always led the world in producing creative innovators.