Chapter 13 - Planning tomorrow's schools

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Planning tomorrow's schools

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system should penalize risk-taking or creativity, or imply that there is only one right answer to any problem, except perhaps for simple arithmetic (even then Einstein would not have produced his theories of relativity had he not challenged basic mathematics).
   whbxshad.gif (53 bytes) Critical thinking is a vital skill. Free and open-minded contributions to problem-solving are essential in all aspects of life. Any assessment methods should encourage this, not pigeonhole anyone in the "only one right answer" mode.
   whbxshad.gif (53 bytes) Teacher assessment is at least as important as student assessment. Every professional seminar presenter hands out evaluation forms. They're vital self-correcting feedback. And all teachers following this pattern are modelling a positive attitude toward continual growth by the free, fair and frank exchange of opinions.
   whbxshad.gif (53 bytes) Competent school teachers and administrators will apply the same principles to parent-teacher relationships: sending home teacher-evaluation forms regularly as part of the school-home confidence building, part of the new customer-service concept.
   whbxshad.gif (53 bytes) In fields where competence can be measured at specific levels, this generally involves performing the task in practice: typing at 65 words a minute, playing a piano, riding a bike, running or swimming at a certain speed. In all cases, the real test is competency in the task, not competency in writing about it.
   whbxshad.gif (53 bytes) The Japanese have used the excellent American-developed Deming methods of total quality management to produce cars and electronic components of excellence. Mt. Edgecumbe High School has shown how to interpret those principles into school education - and into different assessment methods. All school systems would be wise to take heed.

10. Use tomorrow's technology
 
  We've already made our views clear on one other matter: new methods of instant communication are bringing with them the biggest change in civilization in centuries.
  This revolution will soon provide each person with the tools to obtain all the information he or she needs, whenever it is needed and in whatever form: print, photograph, videotape, television screen or facsimile transmission.
  River Oaks School in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, is typical of what will soon be happening at all schools. It is a primary school that has been

 

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