- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (April 6, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465002307
- ISBN-13: 978-0465002306
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 69 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need--and What We Can Do About It Paperback – April 6, 2010
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Wagner, a Harvard education professor, begins by offering his astute assessment of secondary education in the U.S. today and how it fails to produce graduates who are “jury ready” (i.e., able to analyze an argument, weigh evidence, and detect bias). He then presents a concise manifesto for the steps needed to “reinvent the education profession.” His thesis revolves around “Seven Survival skills”—the core competencies he deems necessary for success both in college and in the twenty-first-century workforce. These encompass problem solving and critical thinking, collaboration across networks, adaptability, initiative, effective oral and written communication, analyzing information, and developing curiosity and imagination. Wagner visits a wide spectrum of schools, both public and private, meets with teachers and administrators, and demonstrates how these survival skills have been forgotten in the preparation for mandatory tests. He stresses the importance of being able to analyze new information and apply it to new situations in the “global knowledge economy,” then details the programs, including team teaching, at a few innovative schools that are effectively meeting this challenge. --Deborah Donovan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
""The Global Achievement Gap" is thoughtful and inspirational. It describes how, in these changing times, schools too must change if the US is to remain a strong economic and intellectual leader in the world, and it offers creative solutions and examples of success. This book will capture your head, your heart and, I hope, your future actions. This is a VERY important book for anyone who cares about preparing young people for success in a rapidly changing global society. Every school board member, administrator, teacher and parent in the nation should read this book."--Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director, National School Boards Association "Tony Wagner is not just talking about our schools here--he is talking about the future our nation. "The Global Achievement Gap" cuts through the complexity and partisan posing so often associated with this genre. It is a powerful call to action, and a roadmap of how to fundamentally rethink the education of our children. If we ignore it, we do so at great peril."--Keith R. McFarland, author of #1 "Wall Street Journal" and "New York Times" Bestseller, The "Breakthrough Company: How Everyday Companies Become Extraordinary Performers" "Kudos to Tony Wagner....Many people have been cursing the darkness of our education system, but by breaking down the many dilemmas that students, teachers and parents face as well as examining different approaches that have been successful, Wagner lights a candle for those who want to help, but don't know where to start. Whether we can transition through these exciting and perilous times will depend upon the culture we leave our young people. Tony Wagner has provided a map."--John Abele, Founding Chairman, BostonScientific, Board Chair, FIRST
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I recently purchased the book for my iPad so I could highlight and type my notes. This proved a much more productive method(and lead me to a thought on education practices) and allowed me to not only take away key passages, but also allowed for fluid reading.
There is so much great info in this book. As I currently help operate an online global project with 600+ elementary students, I found many things in this book to hold merit and raise valid questions about education. Combine this with my recent visit to High Tech High(which was included in the book) and not only understand the need for some change to education, but demand it to happen. The great thing is that change is happening.
Essentially, the author discusses 7 Essential Survival Skills that all students need.
Wagner presents seven "survival skills" that students should be learning in school in order to prepare for college and adult life:
* Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
* Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence
* Agility and Adaptability
* Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
* Effective Oral and Written Communication.
* Accessing and Analyzing Information
* Curiosity and Imagination
Throughout the book he examines how these skills are being taught on the global scale and how much America has fallen behind the ranks in these skills. What is so great about his rhetoric and writing style is that it is not an all out bash on American schools. Being a teacher myself I have read plenty where teachers are just ripped apart. He focuses more on where things are going wrong and providing examples of schools that are on the right path to making change.
The skills shared here are all skills that everyone needs for whatever avenue of life they choose. Some parents and students are stuck in schools that they cannot escape. The great thing with these skills are that they can be taught at home.
Staying current with the development and changes in education I think things are moving in the right direction. I teach at a fantastic school and we even realize that changes need to be made.
I recommend this book to anyone who has an investment in education(which is pretty much everyone). You will walk away from this book with a better understanding of what is needed for our students and nation to get back to the top.
I will be using my 23 pages of notes for future blog posts on education, but since this is a review of the book I will save those rants for another day. A must read education book.
Until relatively recently, young people largely grew up blissfully ignorant of the world around them. Schools were expected to fill them with knowledge because that was their principal function. Of course, there were exceptions. The bright kids who read widely and hung out in the library have always been around, but these days young teens can readily access a vast array of information on any subject that takes their interest and their creative freedom to do so is seemingly unlimited.
Wagner argues that this should be the basis of education models in the twenty first century, rather than simply believing what has occurred in the past should be maintained in the future. By creating learning environments that both engage and energize students, they are able to gain substantially more from their time at school which ultimately flows through to their productivity as employees.
Teaching needs to become a much more highly valued profession. However, this will only occur when educators face up to the fact that the digital generation are fundamentally different learners from their predecessors and require a very different style of teaching.
This remains the key challenge for western education policy the world over. As Wagner persuasively argues, those who adapt to and reflect the new world order in their teaching will ultimately be the ones who reap the greatest reward in the future.