Arlington, VA — The current education model in the United States, a relic of the Industrial Age, is increasingly out of touch with the needs of society and the students it serves. In addition to the continued use of dated models of educating students, our systems for teacher training and evaluation have not kept up with the fast pace of change.
Findings from a National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) study group, Next Generation Learning: Transforming the Role of Educators Today for the Students of Tomorrow, call for a reexamination of how America not only looks at teaching, but whether teachers are given even adequate professional development to keep up with the ever-changing demands of society on their students.
“We need our educators to be trained to help develop students’ skills well beyond what the old methods of rote memorization and application have been able to do,” said NASBE Executive Director Brenda Welburn. “The students of today and tomorrow need skills for higher-order thinking, creativity, and life-long learning, and to accomplish this we must improve and dramatically alter how we train our teachers.”
In this report and its companion study, No Time to Wait: Creating Contemporary School Structures for All Students Today and Tomorrow, study group members determined that developing sound, new structures for education and the methods of teaching within those systems is not only inevitable, but critical to the future strength of the nation.
With this in mind, the panel arrived at 10 recommendations for state boards of education, prefaced by issues for state boards to consider before taking action. The recommendations include:
- State boards of education need to work with higher education institutions and accrediting entities to reexamine preparation programs to ensure that future educators are entering the workforce with 21st century skills and have the ability to transfer those skills to today’s learning environment.
- Beginning educators need to be placed in learning teams as a means of ongoing learning, support, and growth in the profession.
- States and districts need to consistently invest time and resources in developing 21st century skills in their current workforce through intentional, practical professional development that promotes collaboration, reflective practices, and the integration of technology.
Free Executive Summary Available Below.