The world is drastically different today from what it was my mother went to school and when I went to school; therefore, schools today should be drastically different from what they were then. We say we are promoting 21st century skills, but are we really? When we are focused on the “skills” required by the standardized tests, are we really promoting collaboration, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving when there is always only one right answer in a multiple choice question.
Our curriculum should provide for opportunities to learn in a variety of ways addressing what Gardner calls the multiple intelligences. It should allow for student choice – something educators have discussed at length. It should develop global skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and digital literacy. It should teach them flexibility. It should inspire students to be lifelong learners, for the world of knowledge will grow exponentially in their lifetimes, in fact for some, exponentially before they graduate from high school!
Some of you may be familiar with the “Did You Know” YouTube videos. This one is the most recent and certainly warrants another look:
Did You Know 2014 . . . Shift Happens
There’s an old saying about not throwing the baby out with the bath water . . .
Some of the good old fashioned lessons from the past should remain in the schools – not just the content of numeracy, literacy, etc. but also citizenship, respect, and community service/service-learning. The pendulum doesn’t always have to swing so far . . .