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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It boggles the mind...

What can happen on any given day in a Primary School....
Today for example:
1. Purple vomit
2. Teacher taken the emergency room from fainting spell
3. Kindergartener with gluey elbow, despite having had on his coat the whole time
4. Music teacher attending art clas
5. Art teacher attending music class
*6. Hearing a speaker discuss the every changing technology and globalization and how it affects education in this country.

Ah, that's the one I want to talk about! This guy we heard was VERY interesting. He was talking about technology and how it changes faster than anyone can catch it. For example, he was showing the original keyboards from early 1900s where the vowels are all on the home row. Why did they change it? Ever think about how those keys are all in the wrong places? Why did they do that? Answer: to slow down typers. With type writers, typing too fast makes the keys jam, so they found the worst layout of keys that will statistically make people type the slowest. Slowed down the typing by 28% when we switched in 1917. Interesting, huh? Why not change back? I mean, aren't we in a GO GO GO world now? Yes, we are! How does an educator keep children thinking to a level that the world is progressing when we are still using things that slow us down from almost 100 years ago? How is it that the world keeps turning, but education has stayed relatively still?

This man also discussed globalization and brought up a scary thought...No nation since the Roman Empire has maintained an economic stronghold on the world for more than a century. 1600s-Spainish. 1700s-Dutch. 1800s-British. 1900s-USA. Now who? Did you know several high profile American companies have uprooted and moved to INDIA? Including MICROSOFT? Labor is like 85% cheaper there and major businesses are moving their headquarters to save money. It is said that there will be more income tax filings from India this year (from Americans) than from those living in the states. And China....largest population, once thought as shotty workmanship, now the largest manufacturers of computers in the world. And by 2010, the largest manufacturer of cars. Wild stuff. Are we about to tip off the edge in America? Who knows?

So back to the education issue...how to we maintain a competetive edge and be able to work in this global economy when we are still one of the only countries educating all. (No Child LEft Behind). Most countries still only educate the strongest and smartest and so it is easy to excel the top minds far past our trudging posse, moving at the weakest link's pace.

Yipes.....something to think about.

On a lighter note...I got the curriculum writing job! I start January 22nd in my training and will begin writing shortly thereafter. :)


Jamie said...

Congrats on getting the job! Look outside the US for educational system examples. In Ireland, higher education is "free" just like K-12. And the Scandinavian countries are having great results.

Amanda said...

Cograts! Glad you got the job. Merry Christmas!