Revamping Education for the 21st Century

eSchool News has an excellent article in its latest edition. The focus of the article is to discuss the theme of the 2005-2006 FETC conference which according to the article is to bring attention to the changes that must take place in the current educational system to produce students who can compete in the global economy.

Some of my favorite quotes from the article are…

“Bubbling in on a test sheet…is insufficient,” [Rudy] Crew said, adding that nations in Europe and Asia are “eating our lunch” because they connect the experience of students in the classroom to the outside world.

Chris Dede said, “Preparing kids to be effective leaders, employees, and entrepreneurs is really crucial,” he said. “In these other countries, the business community is often the champion for helping the public, key stakeholders, [and] parents see that it’s important to move beyond the kinds of skills that made kids successful in industrial workplaces to 21st-century skills that focus on a higher order of knowledge.”

“Instead of focusing on broad, shallow factual knowledge, we need to prepare kids with deep-thinking skills, with the ability to be flexible and creative, with a love of learning that will sustain them as we move through all these periods of social change,” he [Chris Dede] said.

“Telling is not necessarily teaching; teaching is rather the art and science of getting students to interact with information in order to form knowledge,” said Goldberg [director of technology at Abington Senior High School in Pennsylvania] in his winning essay. “This is a true paradigm shift in learning that is enabled by new technologies, and is part of true school reform.”

So, how do we go about answering the following questions posed by the eSchool writers? “How can educators keep up with the “digital natives,” today’s generation of youth who were raised in a world of information technology and to whom it therefore comes naturally? And, perhaps more importantly, how can educators prepare all students for the challenges of an increasingly global workforce and society, regardless of their socio-economic background or abilities?”

I would love to hear your thoughts on the issue…

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