Thursday, June 5, 2008

Teaching for Tomorrow Part 1

A group of teachers are reading Teaching for Tomorrow by Ted McCain as a summer book group. As we read we will be sharing (I hope!) our ideas about the book. If you are not part of our summer book group, feel free to join in the discussion. All ideas are welcome!

If you have any thoughts about Section 1: What Skills Will Students Need for the 21st Century?, please leave a comment on this post. Hopefully this will lead to a discussion on this topic. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.


  1. The part that really hit home for me was "The Myth of Postsecondary Education" (pp. 13-14).

    Certainly the vast majority of the 27.2% of High School graduates who earn a bachelors degree (by age 30) were "high performing" high school students and are probably able to gain logical thinking and problem-solving skills relatively quickly.

    For the vast majority (at least in society, not necessarily Wayzata), high school is their last "free" opportunity to gain such skills. After that, there could be significant financial, social and/or professional costs.

    Perhaps we need to reevaluate the outcomes that are most important and make crucial changes where necessary.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Dave. I agree that it was surprising how low the number of students is who go on to college. I would have expected it to be much higher.

    I also really connected with the idea that I graduated school as a highly educated useless person. I was an excellent student, but I was thoroughly unprepared for the world. Some of this is dependent upon our upbringing at home, but schools have to start recognizing that we need to prepare our students for the social, professional, financial, and global interactions that await them upon graduation.

    We can not teach them everything, but we can teach them how to handle a world of nearly infinite information. Where do we find answers, how do we know if they are accurate, how do we formulate an opinion based on accurate information, how do we communicate our opinions in multiple ways. I'm not convinced that we are focusing on the right skills.

  3. I think the college discussion is interesting as well I too felt like graduate school was more about jumping through hoops than practical issues.

    When we consider curriculum many people think of the paper pencil pieces that need to "get covered" we must also consider the secondary pieces of the curriculum... working in a group, getting along with others, waiting or your turn. I have often questioned how people think school is a reflection of the "real " world. This book's author perhaps would disagree.