Many of you have been with me through numerous swings of the education pendulum. Depending upon which decades you can remember, we have sought to change to the metric system (not the 70’s best idea), and, currently to ensuring that every student can read and do grade level mathematics (a very good idea).
All of these swings have led us to the present: we need to provide a 21st century education to every student. After decades of change, we educators and industry members may be a little hardened to these new challenges. Still, it’s very clear to me that it is absolutely right to ensure that every child is ready to live in the 21st century.
Most of today’s schools are the same as the ones you and I remember attending. Times however have changed. Global economies and competition have put our educational efforts into the limelight. The result -- we need to transform our schools to prepare students to be successful in the current century -- to make them deliverers of a 21st century education. My article in the Experts’ Guide is my attempt to persuade readers that a 21st century education is a very real, measurable goal. A goal we cannot fail to meet.
One of the most interesting facets of this latest swing of the pendulum (the development of a 21st century education system) is that it is a goal shared by educators AND businesses. US business leaders have been very vocal about the need for a different kind of education; and, they have been very supportive of schools moving in this direction. More and more, educators are ready and willing to make the changes needed to complete this transformation. Now is the time for all of us to work together respectfully to achieve this goal.
Many resources are available to support schools in making this transformation and provide assistance to help businesses do their share. My Expert’s Guide article outlines what a 21st century education looks like and what skills students need to have. Many other resources, chief among them the 21st Century Partnership are available to help.
I invite you to join in the dialog, either here or in some other venue, about how to contribute to this shared goal. Share your resources with us (post a comment) and others. If you can help a school, a district or a state, give them a call. If you have a business strategy to help, reach out to company. If we all take action, we will be able to look around in a few years and celebrate our shared success.