Which are the main transformations that the educational system has gone through so far?

From ScenarioThinking
Jump to: navigation, search

During the 1990's a transformation in the US education system occurred. Recognizing a deteriorating level of education taking place in classrooms and realizing the need for all children in the US to learn at higher levels, companies became involved with government in refining the educational system. These state-level coalitions between government and business allowed a platform for business leaders to influence state education policy. With the election of Geroge W. Bush as President this involvement intensified with the No Child Left Behind reformation.
In 1950 80% of all jobs were classified as 'unskilled', but by 2000 this had turned around and 80% of all jobs were classified as 'skilled labour'. Business leaders understand the connection between quality of education and health of the economy and are therefore an effective force for achieving better schools. All evidence points to business remaining closely involved in shaping education policy in the US.

New research on learning has revealed that students learn better when they can connect new information with what they already know. Students learn best when they combine their won past experience with new information in order to solve problems that are personally meaningful to them. This is a transformation from the traditional method of instruction where teachers provide students with passages of text and information that they need to memorize.

"In addition to changes in the understanding of how students learn, there have been substantial changes in what educators and policymakers believe students should know how to do. The exponential growth in information since 1950 has shifted the purpose of education. Information has become abundant and easily accessible. Rather than reading the unified perspective typically presented by a textbook, students have access to many different points of view. Instead of memorizing, students now need assistance in learning how to find and select relevant information for problems they need to solve. They need to learn how to collaborate with others as they solve these problems and communicate their solutions to their teachers and to the world beyond their classroom.

Along with changes in what students should know and an increased understanding of how they learn, new approaches to instruction are being advocated. Instead of listening to lectures and memorizing facts and procedures, educational reforms suggest that students learn best in the context of solving complex, realistic problems." [answers.com]