“If the Founding Fathers returned to our time, everything in the United States would be unrecognizable except the K-12 schools.” Tavis Smiley
Many university and college schools of education are doing a better job pre- paring teachers to effectively teach academics and manage diverse students bodies. How- ever, too many schools of education are doing a poor job. To provide skills not learned in college, school districts have to spend millions of professional development dollars. But, there is a bigger problem that is more damaging and is pervasive among both high and low achieving K-12 schools. Our schools of education do not prepare our teachers and school administrators to graduate students who can humanely succeed in the global marketplace.
One of the PWSC's missions is to help universities and colleges teach these skills to students who are preparing to enter the teaching profession. We do this for the following reasons. For the first time in human history what every person is doing is taking place within a single, interconnected global marketplace. Its capacity to connect people to people and connect people to everything living and nonliving on this planet is unprecedented. People's growing dependence on the global marketplace makes it more critical for their survival and the survival of their communities and nations; it has become humanity's most powerful creation. Educationally, this means that our K-12 schools are functioning in a new reality. They have to prepare our children for this new reality and stop pre- paring them for a past that no lon- ger exists.
Every person's success or lack of success takes place within this marketplace and is effected by it. To live well, our K-12 students have to learn how to navigate it and succeed without victimizing people and the ecology. If this goal is not realized our nation’s economy and civil society will be at-risk. Evidence that our college and university schools of education are preparing our K-12 schools to realize this goal is when they start turning out teachers and administrators who can:
The collaboration begins with meetings with deans, department heads, faculty, or students organizations. If there is agreement to take the next step, what follows is usually an informal, authentic talk with students and faculty. The talk can include a participatory performing arts activity. This event invites participants to take risks sharing their feelings and ideas. It will focus on giving each participant the opportunity to express their reaction to the global economy’s challenge to current educational practices, and the PWSC's and metho- dology. The talks will employ skills that college students will need to acquire to prepare their K- 12 students for the global marketplace:
Depending on the participant's needs and desires, the talks can focus on one or more of the following topics:
The PWSC provides a comprehensive framework for this graduate and under- graduate course that invites college faculty and PWSC curriculum developers to prepare its final design. It gives school of education students, majoring in teaching or administration, the capacity to establish the 21st century schools that our nation needs. These K-12 schools will prepare our citizens for the new economic, social, and technological reality that confronts us in a glo- balized world. The course will also give education students the know- ledge and sensibility to play a leadership and leadership support role in facilitating their school’s transformation process. The course can be: