A presentation of key findings from a national survey of 800 registered voters conducted September 10-12, 2007.
➢ 42% feel that other developed countries are doing a better job than the U.S. preparing their children for the jobs of the 21st Century;
➢ 39% feel that the U.S. is doing a better job than other developed countries preparing our children for the jobs of the 21st Century; or,
➢ 13% feel that the U.S. is performing about as well as other developed countries.
“Many American people express concern other developed countries are doing a better job than the U.S. at preparing children for 21st Century jobs.”
This impresses me because U.S. citizens really care about their children’s competition of future and try their best to envision blueprint for 21st Century skills for children toward future. I really hope that every country has this kind of foresight to prepare a well-designed and organized structure for our kids. It will be happy to see our future with hope. From history, we should always keep remembering that countries that cannot align to changes of the trend would be eliminated.
In this article, they also examine what schools are not doing well including: (1) students are not “workforce ready.” (2) They do not have the breadth of skills to succeed in today’s world. (3) They are not well-rounded enough. This article investigates Americans’ eyesight from a macro view then go into survey what schools should do better in a micro point of view comparatively. The conclusion about this is“99%Of respondents feel it is important to our country’s future economic success that our children learn these 21st Century skills, such as computer and technology skills, critical thinking, self-direction, and communication skills. 81%say very important”
In my observation, Americans from the highest hierarchy to common people take this issue seriously. A week before, one visiting scholar’s wife from Taiwan told me that she now understand why Americans are strong and what makes them doing a good job on leading the world. She takes her forth grade child to go to elementary school in Bloomington and finds that teachers in America always teach their students in a creative way. Teachers seem to cultivate students to think on their own, have their opinions, and find the possible solution to solve those problems. For example, problem-based learning, game-based learning, and situation learning etc. is prevailing in U.S.A. now. As I know, it’s a bit different from past education in United State as well. The educative way is advanced in the world, but Americans still think there should be a re-examination for the purpose of their educational system. They think they have to progress. Let’s look back to Taiwan.Taiwan’s education needs to catch up because we are far behind, in my personal point of view. Most teachers in Taiwan complaint about the time is not enough to arrange this kind of activity in class because there are so many information and knowledge need to be taught in class so their students can get more chances to enter a good and higher school. The problem is here, we should not think that students are only receptors; they have their personal interest from their childhood. More important, they have to bring up the skill of always thinking on their own. (I am glad to say technology can help, plz see the next paragraph. I need to have a complement to the limitation of vision toward learners’ role in Taiwan. From my understanding this is really due to traditional Chinese thought, but I do not plan to explain it here. If you have interest, you can ask me or email me.) Americans always think before head with insight, with so many people paying attention to this issue at a time, and they do not fear to try or change.
In Dr. Bonk’s article, “Sharing the journey to UAE HCT…” He witnessed part of the mass burial firsthand when conducting his master’s degree research in a number of schools in Wisconsin during the summer of 1987. (Wow, I was three! How advanced the education in Wisconsin was!) Bonk said, “We had students using dozens of convergent thinking software packages intended to enhance logical thinking, problem solving, hypothesis testing, classification skills, deductive reasoning, and inferencing as well as a similar set of divergent ones for fostering originality, brainstorming, spatial reasoning, recognizing patterns and relationships, and designing original works in poetry, art, drawings, animations, and music.” How gorgeous those software packages are. I would like to know students and parents’ feeling and thought toward such technology tools. Besides, I agree with Bonk’s result, “technology was a cognitive tool to enhance human thinking and reasoning.”
Using educational technology to enhance learning seems to provide powerful means to augment possibility of achieving these objectives and goals. Otherwise, I think it’s vital to have people dedicating to design the learning system for future needs, so I approve of this quote, “The inventor of the system deserves to be ranked among the best contributors to learning and science, if not the greatest benefactors of mankind.”--- Josiah F. Bumstead