Build Professional Resilience by Developing Essential Competencies

Jun 4th, 2021  |  News

We prepare professional learners like you for the challenges you face in your job right now, while looking ahead to what skills will be relevant in K-12 schools, higher education, and workplaces in the coming years.

 “We don’t know what jobs will look like in 2030,” says Josie Di Vincenzo, sessional facilitator in the Workplace Learning and Development stream. “We need to prepare people for the future when we don’t know what the future will look like.”   

To do that, we develop professional programs that embed global competencies into our curriculum and pedagogy.  The global competencies or Six Cs are six skills identified by OISE Professor and first Dean of OISE, Dr. Michael Fullan, and they orient many education programs, including the K-12 curriculum in Ontario.  

The Six Cs:

  • Creativity
  • Global citizenship
  • Character
  • Collaboration
  • Critical problem solving
  • Communication
Three colleagues are in a discussion around a desk, while one colleague points to an object on the desk

Gain from Six Cs Skills Development as Part of Every Course

Di Vincenzo incorporates skill development into her courses by asking questions of herself and her learners. For her, learner-centred learning and inquiry-based learning mean everyone contributes to class content and its pedagogical approach. That is, in considering how best to promote the practice of the 6Cs, Di Vincenzo commits to learner-centred and inquiry-based strategies. 

Recently, a learner said: “This course is so different from any other course I’ve taken. I’m sensing that you’re not just pushing content on us. You’re making me think and it’s more about me trying to set my own goals about next steps.” 

When you contribute as a learner at this fundamental level, you’re tapping into global competencies that include creativity and critical problem solving.  

Collaboration Plays a Key Role

Group work plays a role in Di Vincenzo’s classes — not everyone is keen at first, having had bad experiences in the past. But her approach encourages learners to define and create the process anew.  

“We need to define what we mean by collaboration. What I facilitate in these courses is the learners defining what working with others looks like. I’m very transparent: I don’t know how this group will define collaboration,” she says. “If we are trying to create these learner experiences, we can’t tell learners what they are going to look like.” 

Deeply exploring collaboration, communicating new ideas, and balancing all of this with empathy towards others deepens these skills as part of learning course content. 

Digital Learning Demands Communication and Collaboration

For Matthew Christian, a facilitator in our Adult Learning and Development program who teaches Online Learning Environments, digital learning demands communication and collaboration. 

“There are big questions about how you collaborate effectively online,” says Christian. Adult learners must navigate getting to know one another, working together, and dealing with new technologies at the same time. 

“I think different kinds of digital literacy and competence are going to deeply impact work looking forward. You have to know how to do this.”  – Matthew Christian, Facilitator.

The rise of remote work  working and communicating with new people who live far away and in very different circumstances while navigating a range of work and personal challenges — this will likely be the future of work. 

The Six Cs Help Prepare You for Today’s Work’s Demands and Its Future Shifts

For Dr. Elisabeth Rees-Johnstone, Executive Director of OISE CPL, the Six Cs offer tools that help people prepare for work’s demands and its future shifts. “We know that the further evolved you are in these competencies, the likelihood is that you can more easily up-skill. If you’re evolved in your critical thinking, your collaboration, your communications, your character, you’ll be able to navigate whatever these new demands might be.”  

When you can leverage rich skills at work and at home, you can cope better with challenges big and small. “We call this reservoir resilience,” says Rees-Johnstone.  


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