21st Century Education “Shifts” ?
Hopefully, the book “The Case for Contention” will help resolve some nagging questions parents have about education reforms sweeping into schools without their awareness. “Knowledge’ and academic pursuits are being shifted to competencies and “soft skills” as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and a whole host of other unmeasurables. How do you measure empathy?
Also, age-appropriateness is a concern to parents — what degree of controversy is appropriate at what age?
Additionally, are teachers able to lead balanced discussions or do they lean on popular texts for their own background learning? A quick search of the Internet yields, for example, in the primary grades books on Math and Social Justice; for secondary history Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”; and in college/university “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” is frequently assigned reading in the social sciences — all rather biased points-of-view!
Now, since the authors of “The Case for Contention” do say, “parents may legitimately ask that the schools represent their side of the issue” when and how can parents be “legitimately” involved? So much that transpires in schools today is unknown to parents and public. If the aim of public education is indeed enlightenment — “to advance truth and strengthen democracy” — then we need more information about the content of 21st C Learning.
commenbt sent to Joanne Jacobs blog, http://www.joannejacobs.com/2017/05/teaching-the-controversy-but-how/#comment-224164. The review by Steiner is important to read: http://educationnext.org/on-teaching-controversy-book-review-the-case-for-connection-zimmerman-robertson/ .. He quotes the significant quote by James Madison:
A people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
—James Madison (1822) and lead one to pursue how Dewey viewed Madison's point of view. Book — Reinhold Niebuhr and John Dewey: An American Odyssey gives some discussion of Dewey (communitarian) and Niebuhr (libertarian?) ]