Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Preparing The Class of 2025

Diego should graduate high school in the year 2025, so the cover of this month's Time Magazine really caught my attention. The two articles in this week's issue ask more questions than I originally had, but enlightened me with a nice history on education and a great number of current facts.

The first one, What Colleges Will Teach in 2025, reports that college students are spending less and less time studying (just above 25 hours a week). At the same time, college education costs are growing at alarming rates. Unfortunately, employers are having a hard time hiring qualified graduates. The math doesn't add up to me and when I read that "higher education is facing a real crisis of effectiveness," I really became worried.

Every state is trying to make sure every teacher is implementing Common Core standards so that our children know the basics in Math and English and know facts about our government and History. I shrink a little when Diego asks me a science question I should know but don't. Should it matter in this day in age? People argue that perhaps we should start focusing on teaching children how to do things instead of memorizing simply for the sake of test taking. Many also say we should hold different people and systems accountable for those results.

One of my favorite things to do is to listen to people discuss pop culture and politics while gracefully moving on to the discussion of a great book. The foundation of the American university education was based on exactly this; well-rounded individuals who knew a lot about everything. The university setting then focused (and spent a great deal of money and resources) on research. It will be interesting to see if it will take a turn to technology intensive education.

The second article, MIT's President: Better, More Affordable Colleges Start Online says that "Digital learning is the most important innovation since the printing press." For us, no question is left unanswered when little Diego is asking. In fact, he knows what tools to use to find it. Children are navigating through technology at a fascinating speed. Is it time to take the next step with higher education?

If there is a way to combine these three evolutionary education eras, then we could (in my opinion) be up to something.

"The most important elements of a true education-are transmitted most effectively face-to-face: the judgement, confidence, humility, and skill in negotiation that comes from hands-on problem solving and teamwork; the perseverance, analytical skill and initiative grow from conducting frontline research; the skill in writing and public speaking that comes from exploring ideas with mentors and peers..."

I want all three of my children to take advantage of every resource available to them. I hope for an affordable education for all our kids that keeps them balanced, questioning, researching and quite simply, just respecting and loving the institution of university.

What worries you about your child's college future? 

Betty Galvan, is helping her readers "find the positive and seek the benefits" over at her blog,

She is the mother of three beautiful little boys and a teacher.


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