The 6 C's of Education and Teacher Professional Development

Four Strategies for School Leadership Adopting New Initiatives

By Dr. Erin Heffler, Principal, and Dr. Stephanie Ferree, District Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction – Dallastown Area Intermediate School

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler

Creating a technology literate environment through a 1:World Initiative involves the use of philosophical practices that engage the learner in tools needed to effectively implement within the building. At the Dallastown Intermediate School, staff was involved in the staff development processes and discussions that allowed them to develop an understanding of the purpose and relevance related to a 1:World environment. The staff embraced the 6 C’s in order to ensure that meaningful activities set the stage for future learning and growing for both students and staff. A systemic approach through leadership was used to implement staff development and build leadership for learning. A philosophical views of the 6 C’s, supportive, forward-moving school leadership, and capacity building have contributed to the successful development of a 1:World learning environment in grade 4 -6.

6 C’s of Education for the Future

The 6 C’s of education are based on the work of Michael Fullan and his research in Deep Learning. Deep Learning focuses on learning that is enduring. Learning that endures allows students to transfer learning from one situation to application in other situations. Fullan and Quinn explain deep learning as a process where learners are acquiring 6 global competencies that have been named the 6 C’s. Deep learning involves the following:

  • higher order thinking;
  • cross disciplinary connections;
  • integration of academic and social/emotional capacity for success in learning and living in the next century;
  • relevant, meaningful, active, collaborative learning with evidence of student voice and choice;
  • rigorous and challenging opportunities;
  • global focus: local, national, and world;
  • use of digital technologies takes place in settings within and outside of the school; and,
  • focus on equity and opportunity for all.

Acquiring the 6 C’s is about individuals and groups focused on learning that engages in something that is of interest to them personally and of value to the global society. The 6 C’s present a skill set that every student needs in order for success in a complex world. The skills are defined as:

  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Creative Thinking
  • Citizenship
  • Character
  • Communication

Read more about Deep Learning Research and the 6 C’s at:

The 6 C's of Education

School Leadership Process in a 1:World Initiative

As leaders in the field of curriculum and instruction, we seek opportunities to build teacher and administrator leadership capacity for instructional innovation to meet the needs of diverse learners. While each organization is unique in its climate, culture, resources, and structure, building capacity for learning is relevant for all stakeholders in the organization to support teacher and student success in an ever-changing world. It is important to examine dynamic organizational structures to support horizontal and vertical collaboration and articulation to support ongoing change and organizational development.

School Leadership Process

Teacher Professional Development to Support 1:World

Professional development within a 1:World philosophy encompasses opportunities for staff to engage in learning that meets their needs through an array of content, process, and product aligned to the vision and goals of the organization. The methods our teachers and students access the world encompasses the ways they engage in activating their learning as well as seeking, evaluating, and assimilating information for new opportunities in the classroom environment. Starting the planning on the foundational domains for instruction and the relevant technology integration models, such as the SAMR model.

Teacher Professional Development
Teacher Professional Development

Hybrid Learning Model and Staff Development

The purpose and philosophy of hybrid learning varies based on the needs of the organization as well as the instructional goals and frameworks. Broad goals surrounding hybrid learning in a classroom or PD environment focus on a learner-centered environment and facilitate small groups within larger classroom settings for personalized and focused instruction with the effective integration of technology. Collaboratively defining these goals for the development of hybrid learning models fosters a shared philosophy among teachers and provides a vehicle for collegial discussion centered around instruction. Additionally, this model supports learning in a station-rotation setting to include independent learning, collaborative learning, and teacher directed learning, while leveraging the integration of technology and shifting ownership for learning.

How are you planning to roll out a 1:World initiative at your school? As you process your direction keep in mind the 6 C’s, school leadership, professional development opportunities, and the hybrid model. Plan your process intentionally and provide opportunity for differentiated staff development based on need and choice and see your success blossom.

Join us at an upcoming event to learn from peers about their schools’ processes, or have us come onsite and facilitate targeted professional development bespoke to your school!

Stephanie Ferree serves as the Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction in the Dallastown Area School District. She has previously served as an elementary school principal and teacher. Erin Heffler serves as the principal of the Dallastown Area Intermediate School. She has previously served as a high assistant principal, high school math teacher and coach.

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