Education in the World Today

The articles I read for this post can be found here, here, and here.

Prior to reading these articles, I thought that 21st century education may become too impersonal to be effective. Students would be primarily self-reliant, which is a positive of more modern education, but in the process would become emotionally distant from the material and their classmates. The social element of school is just as important as the academic, especially in a day and age where social interaction is rapidly evolving. Additionally, I thought 21st century education would often be neglectful of the humanities in favor of STEM subjects. In such a digitized world, I was concerned that English and the arts would be ignored, when they are essential to students’ development both as individuals and as learners.

Now, I think that 21st century education is a helpful tool in promoting the independence of students, so long as technology is used in conjunction with face-to-face classroom experience. By combining more traditional methods with more modern ways of teaching, students will receive a rich, unique experience within the classroom that will help them to develop both socially and academically. I was also surprised how many resources were available to address the humanities through technology, such as creating a blog or a digital portfolio. It’s encouraging as a future English teacher to know that the humanities are still being regarded as an important field of study, in an age where STEM fields are becoming increasingly popular.

Questions I still have:

  • How can we make sure the power balance between students and teachers is maintained within these new classroom styles? Is that important?
  • What other ways can the humanities and technology be combined to create a unique experience for students?
  • Will the incorporation of technology be enough to keep students interested in subjects that they may have very little personal investment in? If not, what can we as teachers do?

Resource Reflection

The two resources I used for this reflection can be found here and here. The first focuses on American students in the global education environment, and the second focuses on education of ELL (English Language Learning) students.

Connect:

These resources both connect to my prior knowledge of education on the basis of what currently goes on within American schools. Many students are educated on the basis of standardized testing and how to perform well on standardized tests, rather than on the creativity and ingenuity needed in today’s world. Additionally, ELL students are put into uncomfortable situations where they are expected to know more English in the classroom than they have already learned, and as a result, fall behind.

Extend:

The readings extended my knowledge and consideration of this subject by introducing the global element. Students today live in a more globalized society, meaning they will not only need to know how to live in their own world as they grow up, but within an increasingly complex and connected society. This includes skills such as critical problem solving, and potentially more inclusion of foreign languages in the classroom, as opposed to forcing non-native English speakers into uncomfortable environments.

Challenge:

How do we, as teachers, adjust the way we teach in the classroom to prepare students for this new, globalized society we live in? How can schools do better at including a variety of learners and providing everyone with the skills they will need in the future?