Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Future Classroom

What should our classrooms today look like? What should our teachers instruction look like today and towards the future? It should be bold. It needs to break the mold of the old classroom. It should be flexible, creative, challenging, and complex. It needs to address a rapidly changing world filled with fantastic new problems as well as exciting new possibilities. Change is going to be a challenge for all of us. It means getting out of our comfort zone. But the truth is, a childs mind is wired differently than todays adult. Children today are comfotable with the technology revolution that is ever changing today. They are growing up in a much more diverse world that is much more complex, strongly infuenced by the media, and more globalized than ever before.

Todays kindergarten students will be retiring in the year 2067. We have no idea what the world will look like in five years much less sixty years as things are changing so quickly. How will our children respond to the challenges that we already know exist as well as the new challenges that will emerge in the future? Our students will have no choice but to respond to such issues as world famine, growing poverty, health issues, a global population explosion and other environmental and social issues. These issues lead to a need for students to be able to communicate, function and create change personally, socially, economically and politically on local, national and global levels.

Even kindergarten children can make a difference in the world by participating in real-life, real-world service learning projects. You're never too young, or too old, to make your voice heard and create change that makes the world a better place.

Emerging technologies and resulting globalization also provide unlimited possibilities for exciting new discoveries and developments such as new forms of energy, medical advances, restoration of environmentally ravaged areas, communications, and exploration into space and into the depths of the oceans. The possibilities are unlimited.

As we prepare our children for these future challenges we must be comitted to educating the “whole child”, the “whole person”, and does not limit our curriculum design to meeting testing expectations as a measure of a successful educational standard.

We can ensure that our children develop these needed skills for the future through curriculum, which is interdisciplinary, integrated with technology, and project-based. We must insist that our children are able to collaborate by being able to work in teams, that they have good critical thinking skills and can solve complex problems, that they have good oral communication skillsand writing skills, can adapt to and use various forms of technology, take on civic and global issues, and engage themsleves in service learning.

Let's work together to prepare our children for these challenges. We have the skills, the passion, and the knowhow to help our children work towards success.

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