Renascence School Education News - private school

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous

The Washington Post – Fareed Zakaria

“If Americans are united in any conviction these days, it is that we urgently need to shift the country’s education toward the teaching of specific, technical skills. Every month, it seems, we hear about our children’s bad test scores in math and science – and about new initiatives from companies, universities or foundations to expand STEM courses (science, technology, engineering and math) and deemphasize the humanities. From President Obama on down, public officials have cautioned against pursuing degrees like art history, which are seen as expensive luxuries in today’s world…This dismissal of broad-based learning, however, comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts — and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future…A broad general education helps foster critical thinking and creativity…Innovation is not simply a technical matter but rather one of understanding how people and societies work, what they need and want. America will not dominate the 21st century by making cheaper computer chips but instead by constantly reimagining how computers and other new technologies interact with human beings.”(more)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Using the Power of the Liberal Arts to Address the Problems of Our Time

The Huffington Post – Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.

“Although politicians often disparage the liberal arts out of ignorance, I’m very much heartened to see that many high school students understand the value, both for individuals and for society, that the liberal arts provide. The high school students I’m thinking about are those who entered the liberal arts essay contest sponsored by the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA). High school seniors from across the state of Washington were asked to discuss how the liberal arts might help solve a problem facing the state. The winning essays demonstrated impressive insight into the power a broad liberal education can have while the authors of those essays made it clear that they understood how complex problems necessitate creative, interdisciplinary solutions.”(more)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Science Isn’t Boring. Boring Lessons Are.

GOOD – Katie Wudel

“Last fall, the New York Academy of Scientists, together with the United Nations and a veritable who’s who of socially responsible corporations, collectively wrung their hands about the global shortage of science professionals. The STEM crisis may or may not be a myth, but one thing’s for certain: The way science is often taught these days does the field no favors. “Kids think science is boring,” says Gerald Richards, CEO of 826 National…“Science is all about inquiry, but it’s also about being creative.”…This under-discussed link between creativity, scientific inquiry, and functional literacy has long fascinated Pam Garza, STEM Project Director at YMCA…“From figuring out which dishwasher to buy to how to vote for a new initiative, we need to be just as literate in science as we do in reading and writing,” she says. The goal of a successful education is to produce adults capable of critical thinking—and that’s what scientific inquiry is all about.”(more)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Global Search for Education: Being Global – A Global Competence Certificate

The Huffington Post – C.M. Rubin

“If we want to transform the K-12 education system to meet the needs and challenges of 21st-century citizenship and leadership, we need to ensure global learning is available for all. The world has changed…Education is affected by the same trends we see in business, government and our day-to-day lives: rapid technological advances, increasing interconnectivity, higher levels of diversity, and greater levels of uncertainty in how to handle complex problems. As these trends increase, there is more pressure for the education sector to respond at all levels – this includes a recognition that we must engage with the world in order to better prepare students…All of this is happening in a considerably more global, interconnected world, which requires a different kind of preparation for young people – critical and creative thinking, empathy, comfort with ambiguity and willingness to change.”(more)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Is the purpose of college to get an education or a job?

SmartBlog on Education – Katharine Haber

“Is the purpose of college to get an education or a job? Debate over this question is not new, but a new answer is needed, said Jeffrey Selingo, professor of practice at Arizona State University, during his presentation, “Redesigning the Overworked Bachelor’s Degree.” Selingo, a former editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, envisions a redesigned bachelor’s degree that addresses the need to provide students with a broad education, yet also provides them with the practical skills they need to land their first job in the 21st century. Under a new model, programs would provide students with skills in areas such as problem solving, decision making, critical thinking and analytical reasoning — skills some employers say are lacking in today’s college graduates…While some schools may be forced to make such changes to survive, Selingo explained that a number of higher-education institutions already are piloting innovative alternatives to the bachelor’s degree that are designed to better meet the needs of today’s economy.”(more)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

GISD launches STEAM education initiative

Lakeshore Times – William Taylor

“Garland Independent School District is joining hundreds of school districts nationwide by implementing the innovative educational framework known as STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Championed by educators, public officials and researchers across the country, STEAM’s official concept is that science and technology interpreted through engineering and the arts, all based in mathematical elements, is an adaptable program that supports a rigorous, 21st-century education…“The idea to launch a STEAM initiative began from community participation in the stragetic planning process last year,” said Elementary Science Coordinator Tina Garrett. “We realized that we needed to inspire more creativity, innovation and collaborative work. We wanted our students to experience critical thinking and problem solving strategies every day, all year long—not just for one event.””(more)

Friday, February 13, 2015

What’s the purpose of education in the 21st century?

The Washington Post – Arthur H. Camins

“Debate about the purposes of education never seems to end. Should young people become educated to get prepared to enter the workforce, or should the purpose of education be focused more on social, academic, cultural and intellectual development so that students can grow up to be engaged citizens?…But it doesn’t have to be either-or. Education should prepare young people for life, work and citizenship. Knowledge of the natural and engineered environments and how people live in the world is critical to all three purposes of education. Critical thinking, creativity, interpersonal skills and a sense of social responsibility all influence success in life, work and citizenship…This multiple-purpose perspective has practical implications for both day-to-day instruction as well as education policy. What classrooms features support education for life, work and citizenship?”(more)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Nigeria: Strive Towards Demystifying Mathematics, Govt Urges Teachers

AllAfrica.com – Kanayo Umeh

“THE Federal Government has challenged mathematics teachers to work towards demystifying the subject in order to banish the phobia among students and make it more appealing and interesting…the knowledge of mathematics enhances students’ development of disposition such as curiosity, imagination and critical thinking that impact on their future successes. Represented by the Director of Planning, Research and Development, Mrs. Elizabeth Omotowa said: “In today’s world that is knowledge based, we are bombarded with data that must be collected, collated and analysed for decision making. It then becomes necessary that more students should pursue mathematical and technical occupations and have a strong understanding of mathematics that would open doors to productive future. Therefore, mathematics is not just a classroom skill, but a life time skill.””(more)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Beyond the Classroom: What your child needs to become passionate and knowledgeable

Miami Herald – LAURIE FUTTERMAN

“Every generation of parents wants to see their children grow up healthy and be successful. Yet U.S. kids are lagging behind in their knowledge of the world in their ability to reason. So what are they doing in the Eastern hemisphere and over in Finland?…Let’s take a look at what your child needs in order for them to become passionate and knowledgeable.”(more)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Inspiring a World of Good through Early Childhood Education in Singapore

The Huffington Post – Jackie Jenkins-Scott

“This year, Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary as an independent country. This is an occasion to reflect on its remarkable progress over the last half century from a poor, underdeveloped, resource-scarce country to an economic dynamo whose per capita income is the world’s third highest. Singapore today is well known not just as a place to do business but for its headline-grabbing education system whose students routinely dominate global tests. Despite the strong test performance at higher grades, the country’s leadership understands that to be competitive in today’s global economy, its citizens need 21st century skills like creative problem solving, critical thinking, communication ability and being able to work in diverse teams…These skills need to be developed early and a strong foundation in the early years is the way to start…Just as Singapore used its low ranking [on early childhood education] as a national call to action, the United States needs more national action and collaboration for a country wide wake-up call to strengthen the sector…The dynamic economies of the 21st Century, such as Singapore, will be those with the best-trained citizens and we would do well to heed this call and prepare our all children for success.”(more)