ERIC Number: EJ725351
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep-1
Reengineering Schools for the 21st Century: There Is Already General Agreement among Various Sectors of Our Society Regarding the Skills that Today's Students Will Need as They Move on to Higher Education and Careers
Bassett, Patrick F.
Phi Delta Kappan, v87 n1 p76 Sep 2005
There is a growing consensus among members of the corporate community, university professors, and informed educators regarding the skills needed for success in college and in the marketplace. According to the Business-Higher Education Forum, "today's high-performance job market requires graduates to be proficient in such cross-functional skills and attributes as leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and communication," as well as time management, self-management, adaptability, analytical thinking, and global consciousness. A study by 20 of America's most prestigious research universities identified these same proficiencies and skills as the ones students need not only to gain admission to college but to succeed there. While the study proposes standards for the various academic disciplines, its introduction indicates the "proficiencies" these standards are meant to develop. Likewise, at the precollege level, educators have articulated locally and nationally a core body of knowledge--what they know students should know. Regardless of the angle of vision, there are remarkable similarities in what experts see. In short, educators do not lack clarity about what to teach; rather, they are mired in antiquated thinking about how to teach. More specifically, they need to understand what exercises and experiences best produce proficiency in the skills and attributes that all sides agree are critical. Moreover, legislative mandates (e.g., high-stakes testing) and a slavish allegiance to traditional teaching practices and to specific disciplines of study are diversions that prevent educators from devoting serious attention to developing a more global mindset and helping children acquire the knowledge and skill sets they will need to succeed. (Contains 2 notes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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