I recently read an editorial article in the New York Times lamenting the state of American teacher education programs. The current emphasis on testing (No Child Left Behind) and resistance to different learning models--especially in math and science-- have put our future on precarious footing.
Here's one of the really big ideas:
"Faced with lagging test scores and pressure from the federal government, some school officials have embraced the dangerous but all-too-common view that millions of children are incapable of high-level learning. This would be seen as heresy in Japan.
But it is fundamental to the American system, which was designed in the 19th century to provide rigorous education for only about a fifth of the students, while channeling the rest into farm and factory jobs that no longer exist.
The United States will need a radically different mind set to catch up with high-performing competitors. For starters we will need to focus as never before on the process through which teachers are taught to teach."