Thursday, October 7, 2010

Joe Bower on 21st century education

Joe Bower ususally posts about the evils of grading and testing (I agree with him). He has written a post recently that is about 21st century education. I am convinced that many teachers don't have clue what we are talking about when we say 21st century education. Joe Bower does a great job of reminding us of something I say all the time, "Great teaching is great teaching, always has been always will be!"

He says it in a more eloquent way. The great minds of learning and psychology have framed progressive education years ago. Collecting knowledge and thinking have not been the same thing forever and men like Piaget have described this to us long ago. Arguably, the main difference in 21st century education is that technology alows us to not spend so much time accumulating lower order knowledge and to persue higher order thinking. (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking)

Joe writes:

If we really care about getting school reform right in the 21st Century, then we have to go back to two men from the previous century who have framed how we think of truly progressive education - John Dewey and Jean Piaget.Dewey's message focused on democracy as a way of life, not just a form of government, and that "thinking is something that emerges from our shared experiences and activities."

Piaget taught us that "even very young children play an active role in making sense of things, 'constructing' reality rather than just acquiring knowledge.If we take the work of Dewey and Piaget seriously, we have to acknowledge that the best kind of education we can provide our children has nothing to do with the date on the calendar and more to do with understanding how children learn.In the end, I have one question about the 21st Century: will the politicians and policy makers figure out what Dewey and Piaget figured out in the 20th Century, and will they listen to the modern day education experts such as Linda Darling-Hammond, Deborah Meier, Alfie Kohn, Yong Zhao and Constance Kami."

When you try to convince your staff of the need to be a 21st century school, you can frame it with reference to what Piaget and Dewey have taught us years ago?

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this, Tim. Thanks for fighting the good fight!