Schools for an Information Age: Reconstructing Foundations for Learning and Teaching

Schools for an Information Age: Reconstructing Foundations for Learning and Teaching

Schools for an Information Age: Reconstructing Foundations for Learning and Teaching

Schools for an Information Age: Reconstructing Foundations for Learning and Teaching

Synopsis

This provocative and accessible text is addressed to prospective and practicing teachers who believe schools must be fundamentally reformed to meet student needs in an information age. Drawing on interviews with frontline educators, the authors integrate descriptive accounts of learning and teaching in schools today with emerging multicultural curricula, information technologies, organizational structures that support innovations, and democratic dialogue. Jones and Maloy offer analytic perspectives for rethinking the social, historical, and philosophical foundations of education along with strategies for teacher renewal and organizational change.

Excerpt

This book invites prospective and experienced educators to envision new schools for an emerging information age. the future is being forged every day by the ways students and teachers make sense of their experiences in classrooms. Learning is a developmental process of practicing skills and competencies in ever-widening spheres of endeavor that shape cognitive frameworks, individual aspirations, and community norms. By exploring what education is and might become, we can expand the range of plausible possibilities for ourselves, for schools, and for a global society.

Although thinking about education tempts us to dream of new futures, no institution seems so difficult to reconceptualize and change as schools. Students sense that idle curiosity, unconventional views, and many personal goals fall outside the formal curriculum. Teachers feel isolated, overburdened in their classrooms, and unable to effect meaningful curricular improvements. Many parents and voters also feel uncertain and powerless to improve prospects for today's children. Everyone experiences schooling from their own perspective and somehow copes with its dominant institutional culture, but few share their ideas in open and supportive discussions.

Most studies forecast educational needs for the 21st century based on plausible technological and economic trends; we seek, instead, to engage readers in discussions about desirable and feasible possibilities. We hope to broaden the range of perceived choices by juxtaposing voices of educators with summaries of current knowledge about schools, information technologies, economic and social organizations, political possibilities, and emerging trends. At the same time, we seek to strengthen democracy as a process for decisionmaking and as a commitment to equality. a resulting critical dialog about oppressive experiences can empower students and teachers to reframe educational goals around a curriculum of caring about others.

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