Education…. CHANGE is the ONLY CONSTANT.

We have faced an unseen foe with the virus, and it has magnified all our deficits in the areas of health, economic operations, and educational attainment.

Humankind is facing unprecedented revolutions, all our old stories are crumbling, and no new story has so for emerged to replace them. How can we prepare ourselves and our children for a world of such unprecedented transformations and radical uncertainties?

A baby born today will be thirtysomething in 2050.

If all goes well that b aby will still be around in 2100 and might ever be an active citizen of the twenty-second century. What should we teach that baby that will help him or her survive flourish in the world of 2050?

What kind of skills will he or she need to get a job, understand what is happening around him or her, and navigate the maze of life?

Besides information, most schools also focus too much on providing students with a set of predetermined skills such as solving differential equations, writing computer code in C ++, identifying chemicals in a test tube, or conversing in Chinese.

So, what should we be teaching? And how should we be teaching to prepare our young people for their world they will live and lead in?

The last 21 years beginning with the NCLB act, by one president, then race to the top by another and then forcing an accountability effort that has driven instruction across the nation for states to implement a grade for districts.

When is the last time you had a conversation with a prospective employee and ask what was their score on the Algebra one assessment or American History?

You are looking for employees that have skills and the fortitude to complete a task, I would think.

The FOUR C’s

Critical thinking-
Critical thinking is the analysis of facts to form a judgment. The subject is complex, and several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities as well as a commitment to overcome native egocentrism and sociocentrism.

Communication– Helping students to grow in their ability to communicate effectively means we should give them sufficient opportunities to practice. Those opportunities must involve the student as both the presenter and receiver of information. It’s a good idea to present students with a wide variety of topics and settings as the basis of their communication.

While the topics can naturally flow from the standards in the curriculum, some of the opportunities for practicing communication that teachers can consider are:

  • Students making presentations to each other in class.
  • Students as an interactive audience to an invited expert on a particular topic.
  • Students preparing questions to ask of presenters on a field trip.
  • Students acting as expert presenters, perhaps to other members of the school or wider community, as they share information they have gathered while working on a particular topic.
  • Students sending letters of requests or suggestions to school officials, community leaders, or members of the business community.

The 4 Cs aren’t specific to any one area of the curriculum. Instead, they’re meant to complement the facts, theories, and concrete skills that children learn in each of the different subject areas at school. When properly incorporated into effective STEM education for kids, the 4 Cs help to produce multifaceted, well-rounded individuals who can thrive in the real world and contribute positively to it

Collaboration– The skill of collaboration is the skill of teamwork. Kids must learn to function productively as a member of a group, regardless of:

  • Their Specific Role – Students may be called upon to assume different roles within the group, but they must learn to work effectively with others no matter their defined responsibilities.
  • Group Objectives – Individual students may have preferred different objectives from those being pursued by the group. As part of the group, however, they should be fully on board with its efforts and show a willingness to compromise and to make constructive inputs.
  • The Group’s Size – Students should actively engage with others in the group and contribute meaningfully to it whether they are working in pairs, in small groups, or as an entire class.

And Creativity.

Creativity is the ability to be innovative, inventive, and think outside the box. It’s also about more than creating new concrete objects or machines. It includes the ability to generate new ideas and design new processes, as well as redesign old ones. It’s coming up with unique ways to solve problems or improve existing systems.

In 1993 I became the principal of Northwest Rankin Middle School and read the book Reinventing Education by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.

A story in the book was shared by Admiral Watkins the Secretary of Energy under President Bush that was this

A WWII cruiser had a complement of about 1700 sailors each averaging an eighth-grade education.

The modern battle cruiser has a crew of 700 sailors each with an average education of two years post-secondary, or after high school.

I share that story for this reason because just a few years later we as a nation were flying drones to do battle in the middle east and southeast Aisa being directed by pilots in Tampa, FL.

Change is the only Constant in Education.