March 23, 2006

What Students Will Need to Know and be able to Do…Willard Daggett

Willard Dagget makes a number of excellent points. He says we need to spend more time helping parents and the public understanding why we need to change. The data he uses is a combination of his own research team and a number of references from Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat.

Globalization refers to the world wide competition that now exists in most of the working world. Since the information work now makes up 71% of all jobs, this is more critical than we thought. What this also means is the emphasis we’ve place on science and math must be increased. In the near future 90% of all engineers will be Asian. To me, this simply is a result of a society that was forced to change and recognize where the future lies. He provided some more statistics and concepts related to nano and bio technology. The concept of DNA computing replacing binary computer was something I’d never heard of. According to Daggett, this will replace everything….scary thought.

He then talked about his model school conference as a solution to this changing world. Ideas like looping, paring down curriculum and teaching technical reading. All these things are valid ideas. I’m not sure about the relationship between the first part of his talk and his solutions. I’m always a bit fearful of using the Asian explosion in technology as motivation. It almost comes across as a we/us mentality.

This is the third time I’ve heard him and was one of my first posts in my blogging life. His message is quite similar to the one from last year. His research team seems to keep him up to speed and it’s helpful to be able to have some insights into what’s ahead.

Note: I’m writing this beside Will Richardson who I think has some less than positive impressions of some of the speakers including Daggett.