Globally Competitive Students

Clarence at Remote Access had a great post the other day that discusses some of the skills that I think are the goal of a “flattened education.” One statement is particularly pertinent to my class as we begin our final project:

In my mind, the most important skills that globally competitive students can learn are those that are cognitive. They must learn to be both critical and creative thinkers. They must be problem-solvers willing to tackle problems with extended effort and not give up when the first solution doesn’t do the trick.

I couldn’t agree with that statement more. It unfortunately is in stark contrast to what my students are experiencing this week as they take the Virginia Standards of Learning tests, which at least in History, test the ability to memorize facts, and a very specific euro-centric set of facts at that. I am hopeful that the final project we will work on over the last 5 weeks of school will achieve some of Clarence’s goal. Five weeks is a long time for one project in our school, and I hope my students are beginning to realize just how much work will need to go into it. I hope we will be able to combine the thinking and creative skills necessary to thrive in a flattened world with some of the content we have been forced to study this year.

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