This article is a good summary of some of the main points from the book Wagner wrote, The Global Achievement Gap. I like the article because it's concise, easy to hand out to people who are wondering about the skills we need to be teaching in the 21st century.
What do you think? A good summary? And has anyone gotten into the book?
I am wondering if this book is more relevant to the US educational system? I am sure there are parallels, but I wonder if he discusses specifically American curriculum and assessment strategies and frameworks? I would be interested in a 'quick flick' (not too much tiome for reading these days!) to see if it is a book worth borrowing or purchasing - I don't know wether it is available in Australia yet.
I just started the book and am very impressed. In fact, I had a difficult time putting it down.
One of the things that Wagner does very effectively is to point out the fact that the goals of educating effective citizens and competent employees are not at odds, but are quite compatible. This was a revelation for me. I had the old "Organizational Man" portrait in my head. His Seven Survival Skills are skills that any educator would agree are the basis for a demanding curriculum.
His criticism of NCLB is also spot on, in that it is testing the wrong things in the wrong ways, given that its basis is the educational model of the past 50 years. While acknowledging that its intention, to force mediocre districts to come up to the standard of better districts, was well-intended, he points out that even the best districts have it wrong.
I had take a look at his model schools and was thrilled to see that one of Ted Sizer's Coalition of Essential Schools high schools was at the top of the list.
Just wanted to post a bit of Wagner's thinking about academic subjects and content--at the end of the book he has a section entitled "Questions that Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders Have Asked Me." The discussion is about content and thinking skills, teaching "competencies"--which is rather a different angle on education. (sorry about the formatting issues... messing around with a scanner that doesn't really know itself!)