Every year, Project Tomorrow — an education nonprofit dedicated to “ensuring that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world” — conducts a survey of students and stakeholders designed to gather input and opinions on education, technology and 21st Century skills.
This year, over 500,000 K-12 students, teachers, principals, parents and community members participated in the survey. While there is tons of useful information worth mining in the survey results, the statistic that left me shaking my head was this one:
How does that make you feel?
Are you embarrassed, ashamed of the fact that our job is to inspire students yet confronted with evidence that today’s kids don’t find our classes all that interesting? Are you frustrated, knowing that at least a part of the reason for these results is that we are all-too-often held accountable for teaching irrelevant content with outdated resources in digitally-barren classrooms? Are you bothered by the suggestion that it’s YOUR fault that today’s kids aren’t interested in school, wishing that the modern learner entered school ready to grind instead of waiting to be entertained?
No matter how you feel, I hope you stand ready to act.
If we are going to lay claim to the title of “professional educator,” we can’t simply ignore the fact that the learning spaces that we have created are leaving SEVEN out of every ten students bored. Something has to change — and it’s OUR job to make that change happen regardless of the circumstances.
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