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21st century school planning will require a paradigm shift

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21st century school planning will require a paradigm shift


By Arnold Greenberg


Albert Einstein once said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Other than bringing computers into schools, little has changed since I went to school more than 50 years ago.


According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “We lose 3,500 students a day. Of the 8 million students who enter eighth grade each year, 5 million will drop out, or be unprepared for productive work or postsecondary education.” In more than 50 of our largest cities, graduation rates are less than 50 percent. More than a million students a year drop out of school. Colin Powell’s America’s Alliance for Youth states that 70 percent of prisoners are high school dropouts.


The Gates Foundation is giving millions of dollars to various school initiatives with emphasis on creating a more rigorous curriculum and higher standards. President Obama is increasing the money available to schools and is an advocate for change. The question is: What will change?


7/7/09 | 1 comment


For many students, it’s the extra-curricular activities — music, theater sports — that excite and fully engage them. These activities bring out the best in young people and foster important skills — the ability to collaborate and commit to a high-quality performance — to do their best. Why can’t this kind of collaboration take place in the classroom with students learning through collaborating on real-world projects and problems?


Learning experiences that cultivate the ability to be creative problem solvers, critical thinkers, collaborators and communicators can better prepare young people for the challenges of the 21st century.

Rather than organizing a school around traditional subject matter disciplines taught independently of one another, a self-directed, multidisciplined approach where students work on significant problems in the world or in their communities that concern them and are more relevant to their lives can better prepare young people for college and the 21st century workplace.

In this approach the whole school day is structured differently and the teacher becomes a facilitator and guide rather than a dispenser of information.


Yet ,maybe, even that idea is too proscriptive and a "simple answer"

i wonder if the kids have the answer?

(To every problem there is a 'simple answer', and it is wrong)


21st century school planning will require a paradigm shift - Bangor Daily News

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