Teaching 21st Century Skills in Catholic Schools

Next Session: Jun 10, 2024


The 21st Century Skills, which include collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity (also known as “The 4Cs”), are an increasingly important emphasis in K-12 school curriculum across the US due to their importance in preparing students for future citizenship and employment. Teachers in Catholic schools, across all grade levels and subject-areas, will want to help their students develop these important skills, but must do so in a way that reflects a proper understanding of the human person and contributes to the distinct aims of Catholic education.

This course introduces each of the 4Cs, with a special focus on their promise for Catholic education and role in forming young people to respond to their vocation. It explores each of the Cs in-depth, analyzing their unique understanding in a Catholic context. Then it presents practical, proven methods for their integration in different education contexts, through the implementation of powerful instructional models, strategies, and assessments.

Course Plan

Week 1: June 10-16

Course begins

Unit 1: Teaching 21st Century Skills

Week 2: June 17-23

Unit 2: Critical Thinking

Week 3: June 24- 30

Unit 3: Collaboration

Week 4: July 1-7

Break Week (catch up if needed)

Week 5: July 8- 14

Unit 4: Communication

Week 6: July 15- 21

Unit 5: Creativity

Week 7: July 22- 26

Unit 6: Putting it into Practice

Week 8: July 29- Aug 2

Additional week to complete any outstanding work

Course Format

  • Eight weeks in duration, with six units of material to complete.

  • Flexible assignment deadlines to accommodate summer schedules.

  • Completed with a cohort of other learners to develop community and enhance learning.

  • Cohort limited to 30 students.

  • Text and video content.

  • Certificate of completion available for 35 contact hours if desired.

Participation Requirements

  • Watch or read the lecture for each unit.

For a Certificate of Completion

  • Participation in 4 of 6 “real-time” Zoom sessions with other participants. Note: If you are unable to attend in “real time”, participation requirements can be met by watching the Zoom recording and summarizing insights gained.

  • Read or watch assigned materials; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussions.

  • Answer weekly discussion questions.

  • Respond to a weekly unit assignment (250 words).

  • Complete the course evaluation.

*Your diocese may allow this to count for professional development credits. Check with your diocesan school’s office.

Time Expectation

4 to 6 hours per week, depending on your learning style, schedule and whether you intend to gain a Certificate of Completion.

Course Begins

June 10, 2024 (ends August 2, 2024 followed by an additional week for outstanding work)



Dr. Clare Kilbane

Dr. Clare Kilbane

Clare Kilbane, Ph.D. is a Professor of the Practice at the University of Notre Dame affiliated with the McGrath Institute for Church Life. She has a wide-range of expertise across a variety of educational areas. Clare has worked as a classroom teacher, teacher educator, curriculum developer, and media producer. Additionally, she has produced many books, articles, and other creative works. At the McGrath Institute, Clare educates theology teachers, performs research and development for its online theology program, and serves as the Learning Designer for much of its educational programming. Clare and her husband Dennis are the parents of a college-aged daughter and live in South Bend, Indiana