February 11

Power and Influence

Monday’s Big Idea

Design Your Mind

How should we focus learning standards in the 21st century? Should these standards be geared toward educating a productive workforce? Certainly. But should that come at the cost of teaching life skills that are fundamental to being a productive citizen and a human with the right mental equipment to deal with life's trials and tribulations. In short, do we want citizens or automatons?

While the 21st century tendency is based on productivity, the prevailing 20th century view was anchored in John Dewey's concept of educating good citizens, who are essential to a democracy. While some might argue this is a false choice between these two visions, tight budgets tend to force the issue. Moreover, when standards of achievement are set, those become the guiding principle of how we educate. It is what our students are judged by.

In today's lesson, Steven Mazie makes the argument that certain skills, that mostly have to do with creative problem solving, are being wrongly neglected. After all, he points out, these skills represent a "survival kit" for achieving happiness in the 21st century. 

  1. 1 Are We Teaching Citizens or Autom...
  2. 2 A Tech Geek on Why We Need the Hu...
  3. 3 Big Idea: We Can Measure Educati...
  4. 4 Standardized Testing: The Monster...
   
  1. Are We Teaching Citizens or Automatons?

    Are We Teaching Citizens or Automatons?

    Old school public education reformers put citizenship, and habits of social interaction, front and center. Now we see children only as pre-collegiate, proto-capitalist participants in the global economy. 

    Read More…
  2. A Tech Geek on Why We Need the Humanities

    A Tech Geek on Why We Need the Humanities

    John Seely Brown argues that foregrounding the Humanities is our only hope of sustaining innovation in the United States.

    Read More…
  3. Big Idea: We Can Measure Educational Value in Words

    Big Idea:  We Can Measure Educational Value in Words

    The great benefit of education, "the key to increasingly upward mobility," is expanding the vocabulary of students.

    Read More…
  4. Standardized Testing: The Monster that Ate American Education

    Standardized Testing: The Monster that Ate American Education

    None of the characteristics that are important for thriving in the world of the twenty-first century are encouraged by standardized testing, argues Diane Ravitch, one of the most respected educational historians in the world. What we need is a generation of students who can think critically and creatively.

    Read More…