Hebrew Union College-University of Cincinnati (HUC-UC): “Preparing Teachers for the Twenty-First Century Schools”

In this speech, toward the end of Al Shanker's life, he retreats somewhat from his earlier rousing calls to innovation and reform. He believes educational experimentation should continue, but since a new model has not been determined, he argues that we should revisit the old model and examine how we can improve it. He suggests looking at educational systems in other countries which operate basically in the same way in terms of having classrooms with teachers largely lecturing students. Yet, students in countries like France, Germany, and England have much higher achievement rates than American students. Shanker argues this is because of the rigid standards, national curricula, concise textbooks that follow those curricula, standardized tests that examine students' critical thinking skills in addition to their knowledge, and teachers trained appropriately to deliver the information to students. Shanker argues that the American system is not a system at all but rather is chaotic and overly flexible. While not dismissing experimentation, he urges increased rigor and stricter standards to match other countries' systems.

Cincinnati, OH
9 pages
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