Saturday, July 3, 2010

Show, don't tell

Here is a great article from the NY Times on how factory jobs are coming back, but with a new catch.  The times...they are a changin'.

So what's this got to do with anything?  As Heather Foes and I are developing our vision of the New Life/Mathway course Mathematical Literacy for College Students, we're collecting articles like this one to have students read (yes, read, as opposed to skimming and looking for bullet points).  Show, don't tell is our philosophy.  We've tried telling students for years that they've got to improve their skills and thinking abilities to improve their job prospects.  You can imagine how far preaching got us.  Instead, we'll have them read articles like this, discuss with a small group and the class, and then reflect (i.e., write, as opposed to IMing, texting, and tweeting in rapid fire succession).  We want them to make sense of it in general and specifically to their lives.

The crux of these ideas falls into 21st century skills.  Technology can outsource some skills but not the ability to think critically and solve problems.

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