Wednesday, December 13th, 2006
A list of responses to Time’s recent headliner:
The way we teach kids has not changed very much over the years. Yet all around our schools, society has changed in astounding ways. We are able to put humans into space, and yet, students in America’s urban schools couldn’t explain how a vehicle put into space is able to orbit the earth. The curriculum of our schools is designed to keep kids thinking inside the box, and discourage innovative thinking. Yet, there are currently calls for finding ways to bring our schools out of the 20th century. Time Magazine’s lead article this week addressed this issue.
To me “powerpointlessness” is something that died a long time ago that is just an annoying tool that adults use to bore audiences to tears. First graders using tools on the internet is great but what about some of the old school logo type programming. I just don’t understand why a child putting a PowerPoint presentation together is so exciting. If a first grader programmed a logo turtle to move through an obstacle course then I would be very impressed!!
Trained and experienced educators run the schools. But perhaps more than anything else, education in the 21st century is about conversations, and our schools must operate within conversations between classrooms and homes, schools and communities, and lots of potent, two-way conversations between students and their learning experiences.
Most of the rest of the story includes some inspiring examples of schools that are moving to the edge of the wave. But what they make me wonder is if all schools might become charter schools. Each school is free to reshape itself within the context of a dynamic curriculum that reflects today and tomorrow, but incorporating local needs, local opportunities, and a desperate need to make schools powerful engines for improving neighborhoods, villages, cities and the world.
At the moment we’re being pressed with lots of “reports” about the state of American education and education in Connecticut. Here’s an example. And the soon to come assessment by NCEE. I hope people keep in mind that global engagement is hypertextual. What do we mean by globalist thinking and internationalism? What will we mean by technology and literacy?