Academic journal article et Cetera

Making the Grade: Reinventing America's Schools

Academic journal article et Cetera

Making the Grade: Reinventing America's Schools

Article excerpt

Tony Wagner. Making the Grade: Reinventing America's Schools. New York: RoutledgeFalmer, 2002.

Tony Wagner, co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation education programs, believes that America's education system, based on rote learning and "test prep," has become obsolete. To bring education into the fast-moving technological information age of the twenty-first century, reform is not enough. Wagner maintains that reinvention is required.

The author argues that instead of drilling students on memorized information - effective in the early-twentieth century when there were few libraries and knowledge was more stable and enduring - schools should assess students on their ability to demonstrate performance competencies. That means students would be expected to demonstrate knowledge of science through science projects, knowledge of English through essays, and knowledge of physical education through assessment of progress on competitive and noncompetitive athletic achievement. Doing, rather than hearing or viewing, becomes the focus of measurement. (Piaget stated, "Understanding comes through inventing.")

Wagner also contends that schools should concentrate more on the "soft skills," which he calls the "new basics." Some of these skills are embodied in the idea of emotional intelligence and include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. …

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