Current Affairs

building the 21st century student

You have perhaps already seen the cover story in Time magazine about the future of public education. As you might imagine, there’s nothing particularly suprising in the article (It does start with an amusing anecdote about a Rip Van Winkle-type character waking up in 2006 after sleeping for 100 years to find the world very strange and alienating… except of course for classrooms, which look essentially the same as always).

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I find it mildly amusing that a conversation about revising American education and bring tecnology and information literacy into the curriculum is mainstream enough to be on the cover of Time but remains so controversial within schools that teachers and professors can put their careers at risk and/or find themselves ostracized for simply suggesting that they and their colleagues should have a conversation about the integration of technology.


2 replies on “building the 21st century student”

Interesting article. I’m a little surprised that schools/universities might find the ideas in the article controversial, though, especially the calls for information literacy instruction. But universities do have their own momentum, so there’s probably some truth to that.


As you know Chuck, these things are always discontinuous. There are folks pushing technology and others holding fast. Education has long rested upon fixity, the certainty of theory and practice that have authorized faculty and teachers. The uncertainty and speed of technological change creates great anxiety.
Nothing suprising about that. However I do worry about the future of our profession if we collectively continue to ignore the changing world. We pride ourselves on our academic freedom, our intellectual independence, but that does not free us from the consequences of our choices.
If we fail to adapt to the changing world, what will become of that academic freedom. Will it be worth anything if we choose irrelevancy over change?


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