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ERIC Number: EJ868684
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
Social Imperatives for Better Education: Putting Wisdom on the Agenda
Rich, Sharon; McLaughlin, John
Education Canada, v49 n2 p40-43 Spr 2009
Education provides the basic knowledge and skill sets that enable individuals to gain employment. In today's world of increasing globalization, there is a need for skilled workers who can move quickly and easily across national borders. Globalization is real and important. It drives economic change, but its influence goes far beyond economics. As a result of globalization, employers now require fewer--but more skilled--workers. Increasingly, employers suggest that the cognitive skills fostered by education should be problem solving skills that enable individuals to process information effectively and work within complex, ever-changing environments. Notwithstanding their obvious significance to the world economy, the authors argue that problem solving skills and the ability to think reflectively emphasize the effects of advanced mental capacity and have an impact on the quality of life in general. The educational system contributes the most to society when it prepares individuals for lives of significance and responsibility, as well as for work. This preparation can only be achieved when education contributes to the development of wisdom as students explore, challenge, and engage with significant issues that have an impact on their world. The development of wisdom is perhaps the greatest educational imperative, for it is only through wisdom that people will be able to confront and manage the dilemmas of the time. The authors believe this imperative calls for a re-visioning of education. Schools that encourage students to merely recount facts do not prepare them for a changing future; they prepare them for a society and a world that has long since passed. Schools that ignore the personal, social, and economic potential of large numbers of students do not contribute to a sustainable society. The educational agenda that the authors propose would re-create public education and facilitate authentic activities in which theoretical and practical knowledge are blended. It would foster the development of curious and open-minded adults who will, perhaps, work to repair a social fabric that rewards competition over cooperation and pits people and groups against each other. This type of education requires an inclusive social dialogue in which individuals come to respect and understand diverse experiences and points of view. This is not education for democracy but education as democracy, in which students participate in a pluralistic community, talk together, and make decisions together. These people will be knowledge-workers with the capacity to take initiative, organize work with others, solve novel problems, and use technology.
Canadian Education Association. 119 Spadina Avenue Suite 705, Toronto, ON M5V 1P9, Canada. Tel: 416-591-6300; Fax: 416-591-5345; e-mail: publications@cea-ace-ca; Web site: http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada