Exploring the Pedagogical Meaning and Implications of the 4Cs “Super Skills” for the 21st Century through Bruner’s 5E Lenses of Knowledge Construction to Improve Pedagogies of the New Learning Paradigm


As economies increasingly globalize and digital technologies assume ubiquitous presence and functional utility in peoples’ lives outside educational contexts, there is an increasing realization among pedagogues that education designed to equip graduates of the Digital Economy requires the teaching of new skills rather than the traditional core subjects. This realization has led to the emergence of what is called the New Learning Paradigm which postulates that students now need to be taught the skills most in demand in the 21st century. Those skills are epitomized in what The Partnership for 21st Century Skills calls the Framework for 21st Century Skills. Keys among those skills are what The Partnership characterizes as the 4Cs super skills.. What are those skills? Why are they essential for successful learning, teaching, assessment, working and living in today’s Digital Economy? How do they align with the full set of 21st century skills? What are the pedagogical implications of these 4Cs super skills? This paper answers these questions in four steps. Firstly, it articulates the 4Cs super skills. Secondly, it explains the “Rainbow” framework of the full set of essential 21st century skills as conceptualized by The Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Thirdly, it outlines Bruner’s 5E Instructional Model and explains how it provides an excellent lens through which to approach learning, teaching, assessment and curriculum development for the 4Cs super skills in Kivunja’s New Learning Paradigm.

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Kivunja, C. (2015) Exploring the Pedagogical Meaning and Implications of the 4Cs “Super Skills” for the 21st Century through Bruner’s 5E Lenses of Knowledge Construction to Improve Pedagogies of the New Learning Paradigm. Creative Education, 6, 224-239. doi: 10.4236/ce.2015.62021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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