It’s discouraging to all stakeholders that annually, about 1.2 million students fail to graduate from high school. And “Pathways to Prosperity” reports that just 56 percent of college attendees complete a degree. Fingers point all directions, but nothing changes the stark truth: Something causes kids to hate learning so much that they’d rather face their future without the knowledge or skills to do so successfully.
The current economy is centered on the need for innovation, with most workplaces in a constant state of evolution. The leaders of the present and the future need the ability to envision that change or, at least, the to adapt quickly and pivot when it is thrust upon them.
The types of skills required to care for and advocate for oneself and others – self-regulation, responsibility, empathy, and discipline, among others – are becoming increasingly central to the work of schools and teachers, and increasingly relevant to the lifelong success of students.
Education used to focus on the 3 R’s — reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Without a doubt, those remain critical subjects, but these days, they are just the beginning. What about history (because those who don’t understand history are forced to repeat it) and civics (so we understand how government works)?
Keeping up with national and international events was a lot easier when all the news came from one of three major TV news outlets and a few newspapers like The New York Times. Now, there are dozens of channels, hundreds of newspapers, thousands of bloggers, and tens of thousands of social media journalists — all trying to get your attention with the latest apocalyptic news flash.
I am guilty of assuming that the younger a person is, the easier it is to teach them digital literacy. Recent reports have found that – not surprisingly – digital natives who have mastered Fortnight and driving while texting are far from being able to distinguish between fake and real news, or adept at mid-skill job requirements for computer literacy.
Consistently revising and improving education for everyone is a journey, not just a goal. With things as vital as great teaching and effective learning, teachers and students can benefit from a positive mindset of constant growth and development.
A centuries-old challenge for teachers has been how to adapt learning materials and presentations to meet the varied backgrounds and abilities of students. Emerging technologies, Ray Schroeder writes, can help meet students where they are and customize learning for them.