Society, Culture, Education & Self

4Cs + Distributed Agency


In 2002, a partnership between the business community, education leaders, and policy makers established the framework for 21st-century learning. This was founded on learning through the incorporation of the four dimensions of the individual's development: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

In a full acknowledgment of the 4Cs model, Ripples pedagogy takes these four aspects into account in developing its design. However, the Ripples model adopts a principally alternative position in establishing the role of a student in the process of learning. This is influenced by a new social paradigm created by the way that digital technology has changed the world at an exponential rate.

In such new volatile conditions, the focus in the process of knowing shifts from the teacher and prescribed courses to the individuals discovering their unique personal abilities and interests and developing the repertoire of skills enabling them to confidently integrate those abilities into productive social structures. The learner then becomes the knower – the one who constructs their knowledge according to their personal abilities and interests integrated into required disciplinary outcomes.

Critical thinking in the Ripples is seen as self-reflection, answering the question of how unique individual capabilities can be synthesized within a specific disciplinary framework.

Communication in the Ripples is considered as multimodal. This means that privatized digital tools of knowledge production empower the knowers with the sense of the ownership in creating their knowledge. The condition of privatization of the digital tools provides the knowers with the possibility of recording natural resources, social interactions and incorporating analogue practices into their learning projects.

Collaboration in the Ripples is tightly associated with the notion of distributed agencies. The individual agency cannot be seen or applied without consideration of the agency of others, the instrumentality of technology that deeply affects people's thinking and approaches, and the forces of nature that react to every human activity. Therefore, the individuals in the 21st-century world have to develop a repertoire to assert their individual capabilities and interests, but at the same time have to be fully aware of the mutually responsive entanglements that they live and operate within.

Creativity in the Ripples is based on the ability to come up with unique individual expressions that take account of their usefulness and productiveness for the community or bigger social constructs. The goal of creativity is not the production of an artistically effective final outcome, but represent uniquely individual thinking and approaches in arriving at the solution. The Ripples' creativity, therefore, is manifested in highly effective reflections, critical examinations and trials of the subject under examination through the development of unusual approaches.

The Ripplework learning is based on five, tightly inter-rippled dimensions:

critical thinking in the ripplework is guided by critical self-reflections that are expressed multimodally and discussed within the group;

multimodal communication includes analogue and various modes of digital expression;

collaboration is actualized through ongoing multimodal communications and self-fulfilling contributions to the collective production of knowledge;

DIY creativity is focused not on the production of an artistically skillful final outcome, but on the uniqueness and usefulness of the concept or product;
• in the production of knowledge individual agency is synthesized with the agentic properties of other members of the group, as well as the agentic forces of the environment, technology and social groups.

Available on

Available on

Follow the Ripples@Work:


All content and artwork on this site is Copyright © 2020 Ripples@Work PTY. LTD.