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G/T in a “Flat” World: Redesigning Opportunities for 21 st Century Learning. KAGE Conference 2006 February 23, 2006 Tom Welch. Friedman on change . . . “Change is hard. Change is hardest on those caught by surprise. Change is hardest on those who have difficulty changing too.

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g t in a flat world redesigning opportunities for 21 st century learning

G/T in a “Flat” World:Redesigning Opportunities for 21st Century Learning

KAGE Conference


February 23, 2006

Tom Welch

Friedman on change . . .

“Change is hard.

Change is hardest on those caught by surprise.

Change is hardest on those who have difficulty changing too.

But change is natural; change is not new; change is important.”

The time has come to stop talking about structural changes and begin talking about system changes.
What are the top 5 things you would like to see change for the education of G/T students in the next 10 years?*
I do not believe we should offer more opportunities to all G/T students . . .

I DO believe that we must offer individualized opportunities to EVERY G/T student!

How might the following affect G/T students in the coming years . . .
  • KAMS
  • VMSs
  • Mandarin Chinese programs
friedman s brief history of the 21 st century
Friedman’s Brief History of the 21st century
  • Globalization 1.0
  • 1492 – 1800
  • Shrank world from a size Large to a Medium
  • Was about countries and muscle
  • The “Old” World
Globalization 2.0
  • 1800 – 2000
  • Shrank the world from medium to small
  • Multinational companies
  • The “New” World
Globalization 3.0
  • 2000 –
  • Size small to a size tiny
  • individuals collaborating and competing globally
  • The “Next” World
As if all this weren’t enough . . .

Larger changes are on the horizon and

headed our way. . .

Citizens of Kentucky must come to understand that they are part of a world economy, and the world is changing faster than ever before.

Huge shifts are taking place now that will be felt for many decades.

“The only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to be able to learn faster than your competition.”

--Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

What will a flat world mean for G/T students?

List 5 changes you anticipate for G/T students in a flat world.*

Consider redefined roles and opportunities for
    • KDE
    • Local Districts
    • Schools
    • Teachers
    • Students
    • Textbooks and other resources
KDE’s drive to infuse the new “Three R’s” in the curriculum will enhance the learning experience of ALL students.





Rigor refers to academic rigor, learning in which

students demonstrate a thorough, in-depth mastery

of challenging work by developing cognitive skills

through reflective thought, analysis, problem

solving, evaluation, or creativity. Rigorous learning

can occur at any school grade and in any subject. (ICLE)


Relevance refers to learning in which students apply

core knowledge, concepts, or skills to solve real-world

problems. Relevant learning is interdisciplinary and

contextual. Student work can range from routine to

complex at any school grade and in any subject.

Relevant learning is achieved, for example, through

authentic problems or tasks, simulation, service learning,

connecting concepts to current issues and teaching

others. (ICLE)



Knowl edge






With permission from ICLE

Knowledge Taxonomy

6. Evaluation

5. Synthesis

4. Analysis

3. Application

2. Comprehension

1. Recall Knowledge

Application Model

5. Apply to real-world unpredictable situations

  • Apply to real-world predictable situations.
  • Apply across disciplines
  • Apply in the discipline

1. Knowledge in one discipline.

With permission from ICLE


Knowl edge






With permission from ICLE


Identify, collect or sort pertinent information while reading.

With permission from ICLE

Quadrant A – Acquisition (definition)

Students gather and store bits of knowledge and information. Students are primarily expected to remember or understand this acquired knowledge.

With permission from ICLE

Quadrant A - example

Read a science experiment and identify the necessary materials to perform the experiment.

With permission from ICLE

Quadrant B – Application (definition)

Students use acquired knowledge to solve problems, design solutions, and complete work. The highest level of application is to apply appropriate knowledge to new and unpredictable situations.

With permission from ICLE

Quadrant B

Locate and read current articles on biotech.

With permission from ICLE

Quadrant C – Assimilation (definition)

Students extend and refine their acquired knowledge to be able to use that knowledge automatically and routinely to analyze and solve problems and create unique solutions.

With permission from ICLE

Quadrant C

Read and analyze 3 original newspaper articles from WW II and identify reasons for opposition to US entry into the war.

With permission from ICLE

Quadrant D – Adaptation (definition)

Students have the competence to think in complex ways and also apply knowledge and skills they have acquired. Even when confronted with perplexing unknowns, students are able to use extensive knowledge and skills to create solutions and take action that further develops their skills and knowledge.

With permission from ICLE

Quadrant D

Read pertinent information related to El Nino weather patterns and propose possible summer vacation destinations for an upcoming family trip.

With permission from ICLE

Mathematics – Statistics

Standard: Use statistical measures, including central tendency, to describe and compare data

R/R Quadrant Student Performance

A Calculate mean, mode, median on a set of data.

B Collect data on braking distance of automobiles at various speeds and determine averages.

C Select the best measure of central tendency and calculate data to support a specific intent.

D Develop a statistical sampling plan for determining number of products which do not meet quality standards.

With permission from ICLE

In what Quadrant(s) have most schools tried to provide opportunities for G/T students?

In what Quadrant(s) should G/T students be given opportunities.

The three factors that will change the future of public education in Kentucky and elsewhere . . .
The identification of standards

-- agreement on the “product”

The use of Common End of Course Assessments

--the first ever introduction of a quality guarantee

  • Even the education world is going to go “flat”
Is your school/district making plans or forming policies for the learning opportunities available with $100 laptops??
Technology will continue to drive outsourcing in public education.

Why would we think that public education will forever remain immune to outsourcing?

“If the prospect of this flattening causes you unease about the future, you are neither alone nor wrong.”

-- T. Friedman – The World Is Flat

Friedman’s Rules for coping in a

Flat World


The G/T corollaries . . .*

Rule # 1

“When the world goes flat – and you are feeling flattened – reach for a shovel and dig inside yourself. Don’t try to build walls.”

Rule #2

“And the small shall act big . . . One way small companies flourish in the flat world is by learning to act really big. And the key to being small and acting big is being quick to take advantage of all the new tools for collaboration to reach farther, faster, wider, and deeper.”

Rule #3

“And the big shall act small . . . One way that big companies learn to flourish in the flat world is by learning how to act really small by enabling their customers to act really big.”

Rule #4

“The best companies are the best collaborators. In “the flat world, more and more business will be done through collaborations within and between companies for a very simple reason? The next layers of value creation are becoming so complex that no single firm or department is going to be able to master them alone.”

Rule #5

“In a flat world, the best companies stay healthy by getting regular chest X-rays and then selling the results to their clients.”

Rule #6

“The best companies outsource to win, not to shrink. They outsource to innovate faster and more cheaply in order to grow larger, gain market share, and hire more and different specialists – not to save money by firing more people.”

Rule #7

“Outsourcing is for the idealists.”

“The great challenge for our time will be to absorb these changes in ways that do not overwhelm people but also do not leave them behind. None of this will be easy. But this is our task.”

-- T. Friedman – The World Is Flat

How might local boards anticipate and support coming changes and the potential they have for improving learning opportunities for G/T students?*
Implement policies regarding EOCAs

Implement Performance-based credit policy

Support the Virtual HS and advocate for VHS magnet programs, such as the VISHS

Why wouldn’t we want our G/T students prepared at the highest levels being targeted for students in other states and countries?
Talk about the reallocation of resources . . .
  • 2.0


  • Think of the decisions for allocating resources when the goal is individual student achievement at high levels, and outsourcing is possible.
Are you anticipating change “at the speed of blur” for G/T students by thinking of policy changes today?
“When the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is in sight.”

-- Jack Welch, CEO General Electric

How do we shift the discussion about opportunities for LEARNING for G/T students in the 21st century.
changing the essential questions
Changing the Essential Questions
  • You used to ask – “How do we change our schools to make them better for our G/T students?”
  • Now you must ask – “How can our we provide the best learning opportunities for our G/T students?”
“Change is hard.

Change is hardest on those caught by surprise.

Change is hardest on those who have difficulty changing too.

But change is natural; change is not new; change is important.”

If you don’t

know how to do something . . .