Hi all- I hope you had a chance to listen in to one of Linda Darling-Hammond's webinars with Edutopia today. The U.S. is ranked 35th in Math and 29th in Science on PISA assessments. I think our biggest problem is that as a society, we equate a good education to knowing a lot of "stuff." Many people have a perception that their education (10,20,30 or more years ago) was good, so we should go "back to the basics." In my opinion, the most eye-opening slide was the graphic that showed a decrease in jobs requiring routine skills (even those that required thinking) and a dramatic increase in jobs requiring thinking in non-routine ways ---> continual learning, problem solving, and application. We won't have any significant improvements in our educational system until we realize that the way we have educated our students for the past 50+ years may have been great for an industrial age, but is not appropriate today. While the rest of the world has been embracing inquiry, problem solving, and application, we have been focusing on testing facts and factual recall. I think the most damning slides provided a comparison of our "best" science test - NAEP and its simplistic questions - to a rich context assessment from Australia. It was simply stunning to see the differences in how we ask our kids to think vs. how the "top performing" countries ask their kids to think. What were your take-aways from the presentation? What can (or are) you doing in your classroom to change the way our students think in school?
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