“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out; a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”
Thinking of what education might look like in the next decade, one quickly realizes that the trends in technology are leaving a large number of our students behind. We no longer live in an age of visible movement when it comes to progress and innovation. Today is an age of exponential change. New and ever-improving technologies are popping up every day and in every corner of society.
The Education Establishment wants us to believe that American students are burdened by having too much knowledge, and the solution is to teach them more skills.
Isn’t the premise silly? Many American students can’t find Japan on a map.
Debating current issues is a great way to develop a student’s critical thinking skills and maximize student participation in the classroom. Successful debates involve the selection of audience centered topics. In preparation for the debates students utilize research from library databases and the internet. On the day of the debate students should bring copies of research, notes, and speech outlines.
There is push in the UK for all schools to offer an extended school day by 2012. This follows evidence from the United States where extending the school day to 10 hours has provided dramatic results. Some underprivileged schools there have managed to increase the percentage of their students going on to college from 10% to 80%. It is hoped that an extended school day will have similarly dramatic results in the UK.
Parents need to know about Constructivism. Coming soon to a school near you. Be afraid.
Teachers need to think about this thing, coming soon to change your professional life, probably for the worse. (Instead of teaching, you’ll be facilitating. You’ll be asking students about their prior knowledge, presumably minimal. Won’t that be fun?)