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21 st Century?. October 7, 2009. A Little History Lesson. In 1958 we were in crisis. A Nation at Risk! (1983). Content Standards and Expectations Time Teaching Leadership and Fiscal Support. 1995 TIMSS Grade 8 Mathematics Performance. Zhao, 2008.

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21 st century

21st Century?

October 7, 2009

a nation at risk 1983
A Nation at Risk! (1983)
  • Content
  • Standards and Expectations
  • Time
  • Teaching
  • Leadership and Fiscal Support

Despite the billions of dollars being spent on ‘education reform’ since 1983, the U.S. has implemented none of the meaningful recommendations of the 1983 report and as a result has seen no real improvements to our math or science education system.

----Robert Compton,2008, creator and executive producer of the documentary Two Million Minutes.

Source: http://www.2mminutes.com/pressblog6.html

Two decades later, A Nation at Risk remains significant in terms of setting the debate and ushering in an era of reform in education, but its goals have not yet been realized. The changes wrought by twenty years of task forces, committees, and study groups have not produced the hoped-for improvement in student achievement. Few of the commission's recommendations were properly implemented, and many of those that were proved too timid to bring about effective educational reform.

--Diane Ravitch 2003

Source: http://www.hoover.org/pubaffairs/dailyreport/archive/2848976.html

Zhao, 2008


U.S. treading water in reading Bloomberg News ServiceRussia, Hong Kong and Singapore shot to the top of 45 countries and provinces participating in a fourth-grade reading test, while England fell below the United States, according to results released yesterday. (Honolulu Advertiser, November 29, 2007)

U.S. Students Fall Short in Math and ScienceTeenagers in a majority of industrialized nations taking part in a leading international exam showed greater scientific understanding than students in the United States—and they far surpassed their American peers in mathematics. (Education Week, December 4, 2007)

Zhao, 2008



Zhao, 2008


Source: http://www.worldmapper.org/

World Population Distribution

Toy Exports

Royalties and License Fees Exports

World Tertiary Education Enrollment

World Wealth Distribution

Zhao, 2008

  • Since 2001, Japan has been working to implement its Education Plan for the 21st Century, which has three major objectives:
    • The first is “enhancing emotional education,” that is, cultivating students as emotionally well-rounded human beings.
    • The second objective is “realizing a school system that helps children develop their individuality and gives them diverse choices” by moving towards a diverse, flexible educational system that encourages individuality and cultivates creativity.
    • The third is “promoting a system in which the school’s autonomy is respected” through decentralizing educational administration, enhancing local autonomy, and enabling independent self-management at the school level. (Iwao, 2000)

Zhao, 2008


[Korea 2000]

  • Revised 7th National Curriculum
  • The ultimate goal is to cultivate creative, autonomous, and self-driven human resources who will lead the era's developments in information, knowledge and globalization.
  • Promote fundamental and basic education that fosters sound human beings and nurtures creativity
  • Help students build self-leading capacity so that they well meet the challenges of today's globalization and information development
  • Implement learner-oriented education that suits the students' capability, aptitude and career development needs
  • Ensure expanded autonomy for the local community and schools in curriculum planning and operation.

Zhao, 2008


Since 1997, Singapore’s key educational strategies are:

  • The explicit teaching of critical and creative thinking skills;
  • The reduction of subject content;
  • The revision of assessment modes; and;
  • A greater emphasis on processes instead of on outcomes when appraising schools.
  • In 2005, the Ministry of Education in Singapore released another major policy document Nurturing Every Child: Flexibility and Diversity in Singapore Schools, which called for a more varied curriculum, a focus on learning rather than teaching, and more autonomy for schools and teachers (Ministry of Education, 2005).

Zhao, 2008


Imagination is more important than knowledge.

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

Albert Einstein

what did we do before
What did we do before?
  • E-mail.
  • Word-processing.
  • The Internet
  • On-line banking and purchasing
  • Text-messaging
  • Podcasts
  • Wiki’s
  • Skype
  • Google
  • E-Bay
  • Wikipedia
  • ????????

(W)hy would the world’s employers pay us more than they have to pay the Indians to do their work? They would be willing to do that only if we could offer something that the Chinese and Indians, and others, cannot.--New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce (2007). Tough Choices or Tough Times


As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village.

Marshall McLuhan, 1964

“Honey,” I confided, “I think the world is flat.”

Thomas Friedman, 2005

books to make us think
Books to make us think!
  • A Whole New Mind – Daniel Pink (2005)
  • Five Minds for the Future – Howard Garner (2006)

Daniel H. Pink (2005).A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age

a whole new mind
Information Age:

L-Directed Thinking






Conceptual Age:

R-Directed Thinking






A Whole New Mind




Zhao, 2008

essential aptitudes in the conceptual age
Essential Aptitudes in the Conceptual Age
  • Design
  • Story
  • Symphony
  • Empathy
  • Play
  • Meaning
five minds for the future
Disciplinary Mind


Schools of Thought

Professional Craft

Synthesizing Mind

Integrate Ideas


Creating Mind

Uncover new ideas

Clarify new ideas

Respectful Mind

Awareness and appreciation of differences

Ethical Mind

Fulfillment of responsibilities

Five Minds for the Future

Gardner, 2006

global citizenship
Global Citizenship

The completely untraveled person will view all foreigners as the savage regards a member of another herd. But the man who has traveled, or who has studied international politics, will have discovered that, if his herd is to prosper, it must, to some degree, become amalgamated with other herds.

--Bertrand Russell, 1950

are we preparing citizens for the globalized world
Are we preparing citizens for the globalized world?
  • Unique talents
  • Creativity, Imagination, and Passion
  • Cross-cultural competencies
    • Understanding the globe
    • Foreign languages
    • Understanding other cultures
  • Global responsibilities

Zhao, 2008

personalize education is there a core curriculum
Personalize education: Is there a core curriculum?

Creativity and discipline: Skills, knowledge, and attitude

Globalization: Schools as global enterprises

Zhao, 2008

digital citizenship
Digital Citizenship
  • Living in the digital world
    • Consumers
    • Citizens
    • Community leaders
  • Making a living in the digital world
    • Digital workers
    • Global workers
  • (Re)Creating the digital world
    • Innovators
    • Entrepreneurs

Zhao, 2008

be informed of changes
Be informed of changes.

Model attitudes and behaviors.

Lead changes in curriculum, policy, and events in your schools.

Advocate changes in the state and the nation.

Zhao, 2008


People work together to improve instruction in all classrooms and rigor is the norm.


People strive to personalize instruction for all students and resources are focused on the classroom.


People model professionalism creating a healthy and supportive environment for students to learn.