To do well in today’s fast-paced, highly social, ultra-competitive, and globally connected world,one needs twenty-first-century skills. The Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S™) is an organization that includes more than 250 researchers from sixty different institutions worldwide. Through their research and assessment, the ATC21S determined four essential twenty-first-century skills. These skills have since been incorporated in educational institutions and workplace environments everywhere. Here they are:
- Creativity. Creativity has been identified by today’s leaders as the most important competency for the future.
- Critical thinking. It isn’t knowing the “right answers” that counts, but rather knowing how to ask the “right questions,” problem solve around obstacles, and synthesize massive amounts of data.
- Communication. You can have all the raw intelligence in the world, but if you can’t express your thoughts effectively and in different media, it won’t matter.
- Collaboration. Whether it’s in the family, the workplace, or the global community, being able to learn from and inspire others while working in a team is key in today’s world.
If we add the essential skill of Contribution, we can refer to this set of core skills for twenty-first-century success as the Consciousness Quotient-CQ™.
- Consciousness is an “awareness by the mind of itself and the world.” It emerges from the operations of the brain.
IQ (intelligence quotient) represents typically “cortical brain” intellectual ability, and EQ (emotional quotient) typically represents “limbic brain” emotional intelligence. For success in the twenty-first century, one requires the integrated “whole brain” skills of Consciousness-CQ™ .
We now know that every type of function, including logic, reason, emotion, language, imagery, and intuition is served by whole brain integration. Critical thinking requires seeing the big picture and the separate pieces. Communication requires logistics and the emotion of language. Collaboration requires the ability to be separate and connected. And creativity requires all hemispheric functions—explicit and implicit—to work together. When the hemispheric processes are integrated in this way, we excel in CQ and can constantly adapt. Integrated Consciousness-Quotient- CQ™ is what we truly need in this rapidly changing twenty-first century.