Be the first to like this
At the present moment education is caught in the midst of a quest to link success in schooling to economic strength. The past methods used have involved the creation of standards, aligned instruction …
At the present moment education is caught in the midst of a quest to link success in schooling to economic strength. The past methods used have involved the creation of standards, aligned instruction and regular examinations as the linchpin of accountability. High performing students yielded high performing economies. Students in many countries consider testing as an ordinary part of schooling, and they work hard to attain (however abundant or limited) access to higher education or desirable jobs, and the implied productive lives they guarantee. In other cases, whether because of mass media, mobile computing, social networking, lack of familial expectations, or ennui, many students are not mentally engaged by formal learning or developing no future abiding interest in currently important topics such as science and mathematics. In developed countries, disengagement has been attributed to delayed adulthood and a belief in entitlement. Even if the sine wave of global versus regional versus national outlooks continues, national economic strength will remain a goal for countries, giving them additional purchase for global reach and political influence. Education will become more international in its outlook, in its sharing of knowledge, and in its adaptation of successful practices from any source. What specifically is needed?
Education systems are confronted with a three-fold mission, significantly more challenging than earlier requirements. First, we must raise the sights and performance of students living in poverty. Second, we must create education systems that promote mental agility, resilience, cooperation, health, and a continuing search for learning. We must focus on human beings rather than on the scores representing them. Third, we must find a way to energize students to find balance in their lives and resist the frightening burdens of excessive work or of none at all, of the central materialism promoted by media, and the flip sides of disaffiliation, sadness, and anger. To begin this work, the education system must take its place alongside families and other societal supports to find a way to work in trust and greater harmony. How can we improve our chance of success?
The presentation will describe 21st century skill sets to engender and measure, including cognitive and meta-cognitive skills, e.g., adaptive problem-solving, communication, risk assessment, and content acquisition. We need to focus on using knowledge not simply retaining it. New approaches to measuring and acting on performance will be sketched. How affective and cognitive learning can be supported is a great challenge, requiring reaching back to individual differences and helping leaders and dreamers find themselves.
We will describe technological principles (to be realized differently in the future) of future designs for learning and assessing performance. These will extend the boundaries of schools to the greater community, cause disruption, and perhaps resolve into a better picture. Any set of solutions will incorporate features that are less than optimal and, at the outset, more dysfunctional than desired. In the presentation, recommendations will be outlined for phasing and benchmarking new educational futures using new models of learning and assessment.