Did You Know?

Education is becoming dangerously irrelevant.

All of my US colleagues are going gaga over this video and whilst there are some significant points it raises about education, its very US-centric and incredibly disparaging to China and India… like “shock! horror! China or India could be better than the US??? ”  It also made me want to shut down and go bushwalking for a month, despite the fact that I am usually the first to embrace new technologies.  This was just… overwhelming!

7 thoughts on “Did You Know?

  1. Well, do you like bushwalking? If so, then I don’t feel so bad. If not, sorry about that.

    It’s US-centric because it was written for my staff and students in the – you guessed it – U.S. Please check out the original post – http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2006/08/did-you-know.html – for the context. Yes, I should’ve realized that once I posted it on the web it could get taken out of context, but I really had no idea it would spread like it did – I figured a couple of other teachers might use it. Now I know (pun intended).

    I don’t think the fact that it focuses on the U.S. is really the problem, since the global “shift” is part of the point. But my use of “They have more honors kids than we have kids” and “Luxembourg just passed us” may not have been the best choice. Well, it was the best choice for my faculty meeting, perhaps, but not for the blog version.

    I don’t see the “disparaging” aspect of the China and India pieces. It was simply trying to point out the impact that size and improving conditions can have. I’m hopeful that China, India and the U.S. can all improve on the many problems we have in our countries. I prefer to focus on the positive aspects of all those new folks being able to participate and contribute to the world . . .

  2. Oh! Hello Karl and many thanks for dropping by and pointing me to the context. Here I am lecturing students about texts located in social contexts that are ideologically laden and then not taking that into account myself. Apologies 🙂
    The reason I thought it was disparaging was probably because we are saturated here with “America is the greatest” rhetoric which just becomes tiresome after a while.
    Yes, I like bushwalking 🙂
    Hmmmm… and now I may just show your presentation to my students when I introduce them to what we mean when think about 21st century literacy and learning.
    Thanks again!

  3. Wonderful work Karl and ANgela. I do not see any disparagement either. I tell my students and yong clients ( I am an adjunct instructor of business and law courses, currently teaching a Management class) thye should study Chinese becasue they will either be working with or for a Chinese speaking person, and it will offer them life long employment. I must have said “Wow” out loud a dozen times in viewing Karl’s presentation. I will use it and hope I can return the favor some day. Many thanks.

  4. Yikes, I am a lousy typist and was so excited to participate in the conversation I did not bother to check what I wrote. I apologize to all adjuncts who cringed at my errors.

  5. No cringes here about the typos, I do it too! I still cringe at the presentation in parts though, but at least I know it wasn’t intended for an International audience. My hunch is that you are also American Tom, so it all seems fine and natural to you too!!

  6. Having lived Down Under for 12 months during 2001, I wonder about the saturation of “America is the greatest” rhetoric to which you refer, Angela. In my experience, the folks I was teaching with and the students I taught were anything but impressed with “all things American.”

    In fact, I was constantly aware of the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) undercurrent of anti-Americanism, in the media in particular.

    Off the topic, I know – my apologies, but sometimes the pendulum swings cause me to get dizzy. Given the content of Karl’s presentation (which I showed to my high school students just last Thursday), I think I’m in for more and greater swings than perhaps I’m ready for…


  7. I actually just wonder about some of the assumptions in the presentation. I guess I would be thinking that if we are educating kids for jobs that don’t yet exist with technologies that don’t yet exist, we should be educating, rather than training – teaching people to think and solve problems, rather than to learn by rote or use technology-specific technology. Better just to teach people to get familiar with technology as tools, but not to stop with the technology. The Renaissance was just as challenging as today.

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