Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just Three Things: Global Innovation in Education

It goes without saying that the American education system is suffering, and the solutions are as diverse as the reasons for the problems. To oversimplify student underachievement as entirely the fault of the teachers misses the mark and seems baked in the political turmoil of whom to blame. If we really want to look forward, then perhaps the education system should take its inspiration from the people, institutions and businesses that promote innovation and change. We continually see education designed around the following traditional sets of words when we describe what and how we teach.

Traditional Education Vocabulary
What if, as educators, we looked to other sources and broadened our repertoire of ideas? Why not incorporate some of the vocabulary that permeates so much of the literature from business people, think tank gurus, authors, educators, and students? If education is to become more global in scope, the words used to describe it need to reflect that view. Interestingly, too, these ideas appear again and again in tweets, blogs and social media.
A Framework for 21st-Century Learning in Just Three Words
We can argue that literacy is at the core of the common classroom, but the literacies that pervade the reality of our “born digitals” are much less traditional. To truly make a difference in student learning, we need to start looking at ways to incorporate different ways of thinking. In designing new approaches to teaching that are not hampered by the usual standards, we can expand the minds of our students. Perhaps we should place creativity at the core and build on the literacies needed to think differently. Global innovation in education is more than just three things, but each of the sets of words and ideas above are a good place to start. 

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