Prairienet Banner

Home > The Three C's

The Three C's

In a recent article “Move Over Three R’s, Here Come the Three C’s” on the Digital Learning Environments site, Mark Brumley suggests that in addition to Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, three new skills, Creativity, Curation, and Collaboration, will be equally important.  I’m pretty sure that the Three C’s, as he calls them, have always been a valuable skill.  But they are taking on new prominence in our post-industrial, non-routine global information society.

The creative and collaborative aspects of the three C’s are familiar to everyone, even if there are differences in how to best teach these skills.  But curation was one that gave me pause.  Curation is the act of collecting, organizing, and maintaining a collection. Today’s curators need to look through the overwhelming inundation of information presented every day on topics of interest and isolate the prizes to be included in their creative endeavors from the background noise that is presented by those trying to sell ideas through hype rather than substance.  An effective curator is much like a treasure hunter who can walk into a thrift store and spot the item marked at $1.00 but which is worth $1,000.00; and the item marked at $100 but that isn’t worth $0.02.

Interestingly, the Three C’s seem an awful lot like the very cognitive skills Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others felt were so critical to civil society and an effective democracy, and which led them to invest their own finances and time to create the first public schools.  The ability to curate information so as to better judge the best paths towards liberty for all was a foundational principle for the founding fathers.

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people.  Enable them
to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and
they will preserve them.  And it requires no very high degree of
education to convince them of this.  They are the only sure
reliance for the preservation of our liberty." --Thomas Jefferson
to James Madison, 1787.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.