Fostering 21st Century Skills in Engineering and Business Management Students: 2CG®: A Contemporary Teaching Approach

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This paper demonstrates how a contemporary teaching approach known as 2CG® method, which stands for content- and context-specific generic competency coaching, can help educators foster 21st century skills in engineering and business management students in the framework of English language programs. 2CG® is built around the concept of peer learning and exchange in student-empowered classrooms and has been specifically designed for learning workers who continually need to improve and practice their skills to succeed in the VUCA world where speed, flexibility, innovation and communication are the key to success. 21st century skills as developed with the 2CG® teaching method comprise critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, curiosity, initiative, persistence, adaptability, leadership, and social and cultural awareness. The teaching approach itself is based on the cornerstones of communities of practice (CoP) and teachers take the role of facilitators who nurture their communities with relevant input and impulses. A blended mix of interactive and introspective teaching activities, collaborative learning tasks, artistic impulses and focused feedback is used to empower students to continually develop their competencies and enhance their qualities as well as take responsibility for their learning.

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Human capability cultivation has been neglected in educational and professional contexts in the previous decades. The focus has clearly been on tasks and efficiency, on planning, scaling, and then executing according to plan. Professionals, students and pupils have become used to getting clear directions, simplified instructions and exact predictions and managers have continually looked for measurable output. Unrealistic goals imposed on students and workforce have increasingly led to frustration, drop-out and even burnout. Digitalization has added to this development. Cutting out all redundancy from our lives has prevented us from staying open to surprise, exploring unkown territory and embracing difference and diversity, whereby diversity does not only refer to color, race and sexual orientation but to different opinions and perspectives. As we live in a complex world and face increasingly complex challenges, however, we need to train these human capabilities, also referred to as 21st century skills. The current paper aims to introduce an educational approach that fosters human capability cultivation. Practice examples shall demonstrate how the 2CG® Poetry Machine, a disruptive educational model that combines artistic impulses with collaborative and social learning processes in communities of practice, enables learners across disciplines, cultures and hierarchies to practice their human skills, leave their mental models and tap into their full creative potential. The multi-method approach has been applied in in-person, online, live virtual and hybrid settings over the past 15 years. Evaluation has mostly been based on qualitative data collected through observation, customer surveys, peer feedback and expert opinion and analyzed by means of a customized value creation framework.Keywords2CG® Poetry MachineHuman Capability Cultivation21st Century SkillsCommunity of PracticePeer ExchangeTransdisciplinary LearningHyper-curriculum
Societies everywhere are currently undergoing deep transformation, including the transition from traditional organizational structures to network structures where connected autonomous individuals are challenged to solve complex problems co-creatively and responsibly. Phenomena like the global health crisis, climate change, and the impact of digitalization are forcing governments, organizations, institutions of higher learning, and schools to re-think learning, teaching, and assessment practices in a way that they engage working learners, students, and pupils and prepare them for the future. The present paper aims to showcase a learner-centered, multi-method teaching approach, which is grounded in the principles of communities of practice, anchored in hyper-curricula for 21st century skills acquisition, and implemented in a hybrid hyper-structure for learning. This multi-method teaching approach, referred to as 2CG® method, aims to connect learners across hierarchical, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries and helps them unlock their creative potential by means of customized artistic impulses. In this paper, we look at how the 2CG® teaching approach has been implemented in Lab 21, a hybrid hyper-structure for learning that immerses learners in practice-based learning experiences so that they can develop 21st century skills while exploring new pathways of action. Practice examples demonstrate how communication skills programs, coding and media literacy programs, innovation and wellbeing programs in organizations, institutions of higher learning, and schools can serve as an effective context for this new way of learning, which lays out a human vision for education. Finally, the paper points to current limitations of the approach and makes suggestions for future research.
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