6
   

"Compete in a global economy...."

 
 
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 08:20 am
I read a lot of articles on education and one thing they all mention is "getting children ready to compete in a global economy". Very few of the articles address what they mean by that. The few articles that do mention things that we really don't teach in school -- foreign language, world history, world religion and culture, and information literacy (how to tell good information from bad information).

If we were to take the current crop of kindergarteners and prepare them to compete in the global economy what should we be teaching them so that they're ready to go in 16 years?

Do we even have an idea of what the "global economy" will look like in 16 years?
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 09:42 am
So is it just some kind of buzz phrase that sounds like it means something and is meant to induce a vague nervousness?
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 09:57 am
@boomerang,
I think it's pretty general, and is used in different ways according to what argument is being made.

The way that makes the most sense to me is to graduate creative, nimble critical thinkers, who can shift with the marketplace while having a solid knowledge base (in math for example).

It doesn't make me nervous per se, unless it's being used to further an agenda that I disagree with. And then it has more to do with the agenda than the phrase per se, since I agree it's good to be able to compete in a global economy.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 09:59 am
@boomerang,
Its the current and popular buzz word of the day. Used as it sounds best and probably as an excuse when goals aren't met.
Fido
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 10:03 am
@boomerang,
The meaning of it is simple: The government which is supposed to protect the rights of workers here, and defend the rights of humanity all over the world has given up its obligations in support of an ideology called capitalism, and for that ideology will see all people in competition with every other, free man against slave if that be the case, even to the destruction and enslavement of all if it will serve the ideology...

Capitalism is international... It has no morals or nationality... It goes where the prospect of profit is highest, and it is never higher than when paying for slave labor... Then they expect to import slave made products into our market, driving down the price of our labor until we starve like the rest of the world, and sell our birth rights for trinkets...

When they say to the young: compete in a global economy, they mean to try on the shackles of slavery, and find a pair that fits... Bend your every effort to success in some narrow field of endevour, and never raise your eyes again to the infinite horizon of stars... The aim of education is not the production of moral human beings fit to understand their world, and to be good citizens of it... The goal of education is the serve the very people who refuse to pay a dime for it: The Rich...

We do not have lives to live... They have lives and we serve that life, their life like ants in a hive serve the queen... No one is equipped for the future still carrying a dream in his back pack... The young must surrender their dreams and accept a future where dreams do not matter and where the nightmare of low pay and unemployment looms in every shadow and disappears the undiligent or the weak... Trade your meaning for being... Give up your self to avoid starvation... Sell your future for your moment... Give up your rights and the rights of your children for a twinkie...

We have to forget about freedom, and from birth accept an iron collar, cuffs, and a ball and chain... It is the greatest indignity to have to learn about our government side by side with capitalism as though the two were really one, and to say the pledge of allegience, or read the words of the Declaration, that all men are created equal, and with inalienable rights knowing that what was inalienable in their day has been sold off in our own...
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 11:02 am
@sozobe,
Quote:
The way that makes the most sense to me is to graduate creative, nimble critical thinkers, who can shift with the marketplace while having a solid knowledge base (in math for example).


I think those things are necessary to compete in a any economy. What kind of classes and lessons promote nimble thinking?

The way I see it used, almost exclusively, is that schools need to be "rigorous", and teachers need to be "accountable", and "standards need to be raised" so that our kids will be ready to "compete in the global economy".
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 11:07 am
@Linkat,
I completely agree.

I think somebody said it thinking it made a good sound bite. After nobody questioned what they meant by it, it picked up steam and now it's become the phrase describing what we're trying to do.

Just now I Googled "Obama" + "compete in the global economy" and got 3,640,000 hits.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 11:10 am
@boomerang,
"Compete in a global economy" makes school sound like learning a trade....

Whatever happened to just educating kids, and teaching them how to be critical thinkers?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 11:12 am
@Fido,
Kudos to you for at least thinking about it more than probably 3,639,990 who have written on the topic by parroting back the phrase.

I don't completely agree with you as I don't think it's that sinister but I do think one of the goals of our current education system is to create a body of employable humans who don't ask too many questions and aren't required to think for themselves.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 11:17 am
@DrewDad,
I don't know! I wish I did. Maybe it is because critical thinking skills aren't measurable.

I was laughing with a friend the other day over the fact that kids have been reduced to a series of numbers -- from what percentile was their birth weight to what were their SAT scores. It's really kind of bizarre.
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 11:57 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I read a lot of articles on education and one thing they all mention is "getting children ready to compete in a global economy". Very few of the articles address what they mean by that. The few articles that do mention things that we really don't teach in school -- foreign language, world history, world religion and culture, and information literacy (how to tell good information from bad information).

If we were to take the current crop of kindergarteners and prepare them to compete in the global economy what should we be teaching them so that they're ready to go in 16 years?

Do we even have an idea of what the "global economy" will look like in 16 years?
Most important, above everything else for competion r science & math.





David
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 11:58 am
@boomerang,
Talking about Mcas scores and such - my older daughter does just average maybe a little above average on these standardized tests. But she is also the top kid in her grade for average grades. There is this presidential award you get for being one of the top students in your class for x number of years and also being in the top x% of these standardized tests. She misses out on the award because she doesn't make the x% while kids that get lower grades have gotten it.

I was one of those kids too - did ok but didn't stand out on these tests.

Personally can't stand them - they are basically showing if you are a good test taker. Not the best at determining how smart you are.

Will be curious as to how my younger daughter will do - this is the first year she will be taking these tests.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 11:59 am
@boomerang,
Oh and what else got me on these is - my husband is reading in the newspaper about which schools got higher grades in these tests. And I basically shrug them off.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 12:08 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
Whatever happened to just educating kids, and teaching them how to be critical thinkers?


Yeah, why let them be just like their parents, right, DD?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 01:26 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
But why? How is that going to help us compete in the global economy?

I personally don't think knowing math and science is enough. In fact, they're not really anything if there is no creativity or innovative spirit behind them.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 01:34 pm
@Linkat,
I was kind of a lazy student but I was always an excellent test taker (I think the two go hand in hand, many times, and so doesn't the converse).

I too shrug off the scores. When Mo's school starts bragging about how well they did on the tests I'm like "Oh ****. They must really be wasting a lot of time that could otherwise be spent on education."

Just this morning I was reading an article about how the "Tiger Mother" book is being marketed in China. They titled it something like "Confessions of an American Mother". Apparently China is trying desperately to scrap it's image of severe parenting and their school's reputations of not allowing for creativity. The link I found the article through is down right now but I'll try to pull it up later. It was very enlightening!
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 01:39 pm
@boomerang,
Here it is....

They're calling it "Being an American Mom"

Quote:
But the book actually arrives at a time when the Chinese are doing some soul-searching about the merits of rote learning.

"The making of superb test-takers comes at a high cost, often killing much of, if not all, the joy of childhood," wrote Chen Weihua, an editor at the state-run China Daily, around the time students in Shanghai had made headlines by besting the rest of the world in standardized math, science and reading exams.

Xiong Bingqi, an education expert at Shanghai's Jiao Tong University, told The Times' Megan Stack earlier this month that Chinese students lacked imagination and creativity.

"In the long run, for us to become a strong country, we need talent and great creativity," Xiong said. "And right now, our educational system cannot accomplish this.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2011/01/tiger-mother-hits-chinese-bookshelves.html
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 09:49 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I read a lot of articles on education and one thing they all mention is "getting children ready to compete in a global economy". Very few of the articles address what they mean by that.

It means the federal government can take charge of education, which would otherwise be the responsibility of states and schoolboards. Were you really expecting it to mean something substantial?
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 05:54 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Kudos to you for at least thinking about it more than probably 3,639,990 who have written on the topic by parroting back the phrase.

I don't completely agree with you as I don't think it's that sinister but I do think one of the goals of our current education system is to create a body of employable humans who don't ask too many questions and aren't required to think for themselves.
We spend so much time dividing our children into winners and losers instead of making all contributing members of society, when all that means is that all help and available resources will be given over to a few to whom those resources are rationed... No part of education gets the support and funding it deserves... Kids are not encouraged, but driven, and even the best so often feel the pressure that they kill themselves... I have seen teachers allow hazing and bullying, hurrasment really, because those who were doing it were cliqued, and that is the greatest social skill, to belong, to be able to form associations for the moment or of duration for mutual support... What most people do naturally has the natural support of teachers, and loners, as I might desribe myself, and as I have encouraged my children to be are literally on their own in education... But the whole process is demeaning... Where is the moment??? Play should be the work of childhood, to have one time in life when you can ease into things, find your preferences, and sort things out.... All that waits on ones second childhood, now... Now, we have people trying to teach their children to read in their cribs... Is their no effort such people will not demand before their natural affection will shine through... Of course I love you child, if you will first leap through this flaming hoop because on that side lies failure, and extinction, and on this lies success, and survival... Well, dear one; this whole society is failing and we cannot lay it on the backs of the young... We cannot expect an educated few, and a small working minority to carry all the rest through youth, old age, and non-productivity... Setting this people into competition with slaves will not make us free... Many of those who are educated in our schools are the offspring of tyranny, buying educations with money we spend to buy obediance fro their masters...

The free farmers of Greece and Rome found themselves in competition with the slaves of the rich... Some hero of that age might have told all these people who were in the end, dispossessed of their rights and their land to work harder, faster, and smarter... The true answer is that a free people must control their own situations, and the advantage that slavery gives to one must be given to the whole society... American dollars are buying slavery in many forms, even in this land, but clearly, around the world... If we cannot control the competition we must see the price of our own labor reduced to the wages of slaves, which is that of keeping body and soul at the same address...

We have no reason to believe that the world, educated as it has become is not in competition with us for the worlds resources and markets, and even this land... But the capital of this land exported abroad is increasing that competition, and our distress, and is constantly laying the country open to physical attacks on many levels, and the moral attack on our rights and democracy, which is unforgivable... We are not seeing our collective capital exported so we can dominate the world... Our capitalists are exporting our capital so that they can dominate us, and destroy our detestable democracy, as weak as it is...

Capitalism is incompatible with liberty, and with democracy for if a person will be socially free, and politically free they must control economic liberty because economic inequality destroys political equality upon which democracy stands... The reason we cannot afford afford social security, and universal health care, or a clean environment, or reasonable educational opportunities, and yet must afford a large military is that we have exported our wealth which is the last thing we want to export... And intelligent society exports goods and imports capital... A mad society exports capital, and violence and blows what is left of its wealth buying luxuries it can live without...
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2011 06:13 am
@Thomas,
Well yes, god damn it, I guess I was expecting it to mean something substantial! The way it's being repeated I thought it had to mean something and I was just too dense to get it. I even hear it repeated from people in conversation now. To be honest, I didn't really question what it means until recently either.

There's no doubt that we're moving closer to federal control over education. Why do you think they want control over it? I'm really trying to understand and I just don't get it.
 

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