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Who Says This is The Classroom of the Future?

The New York Times has recently pub­lished sev­eral very good and seem­ingly unre­lated articles…let’s try and con­nect some dots. What if we ques­tioned the very premise behind nam­ing some class­rooms the “class­rooms of the future” sim­ply because they have been adding tech­nol­ogy in lit­er­ally mind­less ways? What if the Edu­ca­tion of the Future (some­times also referred to as “21st Cen­tury Skills”) wasn’t so much about the How we edu­cate but about the What we want stu­dents to learn and develop, apply­ing what we know about mind and brain to the needs they are likely to face dur­ing the next 50–70 years of their lives?

In Class­room of Future, Stag­nant Scores:

  • The dig­i­tal push here aims to go far beyond gad­gets to trans­form the very nature of the class­room, turn­ing the teacher into a guide instead of a lec­turer, wan­der­ing among stu­dents who learn at their own pace on Internet-connected devices.”
  • Hope and enthu­si­asm are soar­ing here. But not test scores.”

School Cur­ricu­lum Falls Short on Big­ger Lessons:

  • Now that chil­dren are back in the class­room, are they really learn­ing the lessons that will help them succeed?”
  • Many child devel­op­ment experts worry that the answer may be no. They say the ever-growing empha­sis on aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance and test scores means many chil­dren aren’t devel­op­ing life skills like self-control, moti­va­tion, focus and resilience”

Steve Pinker’s review of WILLPOWER: Redis­cov­er­ing the Great­est Human Strength

  • Ever since Adam and Eve ate the apple, Ulysses had him­self tied to the mast, the grasshop­per sang while the ant stored food and St. Augus­tine prayed “Lord make me chaste — but not yet,” indi­vid­u­als have strug­gled with self-control. In today’s world this virtue is all the more vital, because now that we have largely tamed the scourges of nature, most of our trou­bles are self-inflicted. We eat, drink, smoke and gam­ble too much, max out our credit cards, fall into dan­ger­ous liaisons and become addicted to heroin, cocaine and e-mail.”

A cou­ple of in-depth inter­views on What the edu­ca­tion of the future could deal with in more explicit and tar­geted ways:

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