Skills Based Learning? Really? Oh, I am totally fine with the fact that my view on education might not be the current trend. I am not going to stop my love affair with skills based learning as an educational philosophy or provision. Let us continue looking at skills based learning and how it is important in education. Last week we looked at what it is, and my formula of “4Cs + 3Rs” for a strong education. **This is part 2 in a series on Skills Based Learning**
To recap, what are the 4Cs?
COMMUNICATION – listening, speaking, observing, empathizing
COLLABORATION – teamwork, adaptability
CRITICAL THINKING – problem solving, decision making, innovation, negotiation, influence
CREATIVITY – the ability to think differently (outside the box)
And when you combine them with the 3Rs (reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic) then you have a rich educational experience.
Now, we are not just getting rid of content based learning. We are not saying it isn’t valid, because it is! We are just flipping the priority. This is not solely focusing on “this is the content that must be learned” and if they are not covering all the content in each subject then our children are not getting a good education. What we are doing is saying “These are the skills that need to be learned, supported by interesting, fun content and facts” and that will set them up not only for school, but through life.
Skills Based Learning: It is taking the skill and supporting it with content.
To clarify: It works because you are looking at the different skills that are needed throughout education and in focusing on those skills the content falls into place. You are not fully replacing content based or knowledge based learning, rather you are flipping the priority to skills. They’re skills for gaining content.
For Example: Which would you rather? Having your child be able to recite all the States and Capitals or being able to look for good resources to find the correct information?
Our skills are learned through practice, through doing. There is trial and error, making mistakes and learning from that. The more we practice the easier. We don’t want to just practice on the same thing. This is where the skill is practiced on different content.
Reading something and putting it into your own words. This is a skill I have come across that is lacking in many students. They cannot read something and then communicate the key information in their own words. This is a great communication skill and it clearly shows understanding of a text. So, your child could read a novel and then write a book report. Or they could read their history primary sources and then make a timeline or write an essay. It is showing understanding. There are so many activities you can do to show this.
We have the problem of plagiarism, because our children are not learning how to reword, summarize, or categorize information and just copy and paste. We can present the idea or opinion in our own words, not quoting the text.
PEER BASED OR INTEREST BASED?
If you are homeschooling it is really easy to follow a skills based learning methodology. You can follow content that is what their peers are learning in school or you could do it purely interest based. It really is up to you. We have these opportunities to really provide a rich experience for our children. So let’s do it.
The next video will be on how you can incorporate skills based learning and what we can do to make it work.
If you missed the previous video, check it out here.
While this article is written for teachers, it does give some good reasoning as to how the 4Cs help a student learn a subject.