"It’s time to rethink education" claims the theme of this year's 6th. International Private Education Conference, organized by the IFC.
I was raised abroad, and I'm always fascinated by the discussion about international education. This week Mike Goldstein (Chief Academic Officer at Bridge International Academies) blogged his notes from the conference in San Francisco. His post on keynote speaker Tony Wagner caught my eye. Wagner poses the skills vs. knowledge question, advocating a paradigm shift in terms of what role today’s school and teacher should play in a student’s education:
Wagner is affiliated with Harvard Innovation Lab. The i-lab generously hosted our Bridge’s Boston office for our first 6 months, so we’re fans of Tony by extension. He’s a popular author. Here’s his recent book, LINK http://www.amazon.com/The-Global-Achievement-Gap-Need/dp/0465002307 The Global Achievement Gap.
Wagner (my notes are always riddled with errors, this is the gist):
Knowledge is free. It’s on every device. It used to be teachers had corner on market of knowledge. You had to go through teachers to get it. The more knowledge you had, the more value you had in the marketplace. No longer true.
What is a teacher for? How do you add value in marketplace, if next guy will just learn what needs to be learned, just in time?
What do kids need, if knowledge can just be looked up? Wagner says:
Critical thinking and problem-solving
Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
Agility and adaptability
Initiative and entrepreneurialism
Effective oral and written communication
Accessing and analyzing information
Curiosity and imagination
I think this is a popular perception, that kids need skills, not knowledge. Some scholars disagree, though. It just takes longer to explain why. It’s hard to argue against the list of 7. But there are a few underlying challenges here.
Read the whole entry at Goldstein’s blog.