Global Project Based Learning as an Approach to Teaching the 4Cs in Schools


  • Marini Budiarti
  • Suzanne Macqueen University of Newcastle
  • Ruth Reynolds University of Newcastle
  • Kate Ferguson-Patrick University of Newcastle


21st century learning, Project based-Learning, 4Cs skills, 21st century skills


Although developing of the 21st Century skills of Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity or the 4Cs has been seen as an important foundation of 21st century teaching and learning, there have been difficulties identified in 4Cs implementation in schools. Primarily, issues associated with an overcrowded and disjointed curriculum (Lamb, Maire, & Doecke, 2017); a continued focus on teacher centred teaching (Adarlo & Jackson, 2015); and lack of encouragement of independent student inquiry (Poon et al., 2017) have been identified. However, initial studies have identified Project Based Learning (PBL) in extracurricular activities as a promising approach to incorporating the 4Cs in an authentic and sustainable manner.

This investigation of a Global PBL approach in Indonesia and an African country as part of the 2013 Indonesian curriculum, clarifies some key teaching focuses within the 4Cs teaching strategies to enhance teacher planning. Additionally, it identifies teacher and student perspectives on key functions of Global PBL in augmenting the 4Cs. Although working closely together in pursuing a successful Global PBL project, teachers and students had different views of their level of attainment of the skills of the 4Cs. However, it was evident that learner-centred, constructivist and reflective approaches to teaching and learning (Chi-Syan, Jung-Tsan, Kuo, & Chien-Tzu, 2015)  did promote all the 4Cs in one project. An understanding of the challenges and opportunities based on the findings of this research can serve as a guide for educators who wish to transfer Global PBL activities to classroom activities.