Saturday, April 10, 2010

"The Global Achievement Gap"

I've been reading Tony Wagner's book The Global Achievement Gap and see a strong correlation between the skills he is advocating and Montessori education.  He posits that the skills schools now teach are hopelessly outdated in light of our global economy, and that our traditional schools do not produce the skills needed for success in college, work, and life in general.  He has developed "seven survival skills" necessary for success in the "new world of work," which he developed through interviews with corporate and educational leaders.  He also convincingly presents evidence of how our test-based educational system fails to produce these skills, and his evidence is obtained through real, hands-on research.  While Montessori education is also over 100 years old (as is our traditional method in the U.S.), it works to produce the skills Wagner advocates.  These skills are obtained by Montessori students mainly because of the global view Montessori possessed, and the scientific rigor she brought to the observation that she used to mold her approach.  Her goal was to help the individual become the best whole person he or she could be:  mind, body and spirit, not the best at short-term memorization.  Even though the video is close to 30 minutes, the first five minutes or so state the case.

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