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Schools focused on future

February 28th, 2017

By Melanie Hall and John Urbahns for The Journal Gazette

Are you interested in seeing firsthand how schools are preparing students for the jobs of the future? If so, the Seeing is Believing Tour at Wayne High School on March 23 is for you. You will discover that a lot has changed since you last heard the school bell ring – changes for the better.

Today, educational practices focus on exploring authentic, relevant topics, issues and problems. The practices are based upon the needs of a globalized, high-tech society. Learning is more than memorizing facts and concepts. Meaningful learning occurs in a cross-disciplinary environment within a real-world context. It is student-centered with the teacher being not only the provider of information but also – and more importantly – a coach and facilitator. Students work collaboratively with classmates and others around the world. Curriculum and instruction address student diversity. Where printed material used to be the primary vehicle of learning and assessment, now projects, performances and multiple forms of media show educators what students know and do not know.

Expectations are high. Schools today expect, and ensure, that all students succeed in learning at a high level. Some exceed expectations and others need support on their journey toward mastery. Emphasis is placed on work ethic, critical thinking, creativity, interpersonal skills and problem-solving. Historically, literacy was defined by the three R’s – reading, writing and arithmetic. Now, multiple literacies of the 21st century are aligned to living and working in a globalized new millennium.

There is a lot of talk about failing educational systems in the United States. That could not be further from the truth. Education today is preparing students better than ever for life, the workforce and citizenship.