Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Emerging Leader: Helping the Brightest Do Their Best

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Emerging Leader: Helping the Brightest Do Their Best

Article excerpt

Daina Lieberman is a classic English teacher--and that's a double entendre. At Reston (Va.) South Lakes High School, Lieberman teaches International Baccalaureate and Honors English, filling students with all the classics they can digest. If she were to write a book, she said, it would be a poetry volume. A classroom teacher for 10 years, Lieberman has begun doctoral work in education administration and policy and is a PDK Emerging Leader for 2012-13.

You teach IB courses; do you feel that our best and brightest can still compete with top students around the world?

Definitely. Our education system values creativity and, as a result, it produces inventors, innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs. Many countries that beat us in test scores in science and math produce students who struggle to think creatively (as demonstrated in the article Flunking Innovation and Creativity by Yong Zhao in the September 2012 issue of Kappan). My IB students are brilliant; they often come up with ideas or interpretations that had not occurred to me. When they ask me questions, I throw the questions back at them instead of answering to challenge their critical thinking skills. …

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