The United States is holding its collective breath. As of today, July 24, the Republican convention is over. The Democratic convention will happen next week. The nation is between moments. The future leader of our country will have a tremendous impact on education. However, education is not prepared to embrace newer methods or models. Instead, education should look towards models where there has been success in globalization. Lastley, education leaders will soon be forced to look internally, rather than externally, for models of reform. November’s elections will happen soon. How the American people view the importance of the rest of the world will be reflected in the results of November.
The audacity of hope is a nice thought. However hope often is in direct conflict with mundane real world. Take for examples Zhao (2009) suggest of how to redesign schools, with Input Based Accountability. Input Based Accountability will not work. This vision is too bold for the slow moving beast know as government funded public education. The model for education was created in the industrial age, a time of factories and assembly lines. The K to 12 model is nothing more that a reflection of this assembly line thinking. It is a flight of fantasy to think that anything so progressive as removing subject based classes could ever happen. Education requires assessment. These assessments are based on subjects. Compartmentalizing knowledge based on subjects is easier to teach when assessment is required. Some even suggest that IBA would even removed the idea of a traditional classroom. Educating school aged children without a classroom is just too radical. As Zhao stated, “Schools need to be redesigned so that they no longer are organized around age cohorts, classes, and classrooms” (Zhao, 2009, p. 187). This sort of next century thinking has no place is a system still operating in the 19th century.
Dreaming too far into the future will not work for today’s public education system. This much is for sure. Perhaps Zhao’s (2009) global enterprise business model could work. This model is based on the actions of today’s global business world. The three parts of this model are simple enough. Education will need to think of its product on a global scale. The student is the product. To compete globally the student would then need to be successful in Main Street, USA and Pudong, Shanghai. Creating a product that can navigate through many cultures is a large task for any school. This connects directly with the second part of the model, resources. To foster success in the school’s product, the must bring in the best resources possible. If the resources is not on site, than a school has an obligation to get the need resource. Virtual, or online, education is no longer a novelty and is becoming a legitimate solution to a school’s lack resources. Lastly, there is the market. This is the invisible hand that determine who will want the product, the student. China has top test taking students, skilled in “obedience, conformity, compliance, respect for order, and homogeneous thinking” (The Good, Bad, & Ugly, 2016). American students while far more independant, lack global awareness. Afghanistan is location that majority of American students could not find on a map (Zhao, 2009). What global consumer would want either student, the product, from these two educational systems?
Globalization is in the news and it’s not good. It was the fear of what globalization had done to their country that led the majority of Britain's to choose to leave the European Union. Brexit is a direct reaction to globalization. Cross-cultural competencies may create global citizen but not everyone wants to be a citizen of the world (Zhao, 2009). If fact, our nation is moving towards a time where global empathy and cultural understanding is ridiculed. Global awareness is sacrificed on the altar called ‘national security.’ Multiculturalism is walled off in favor of preserving the economy, keeping the jobs. Our nation is about to shift into a time of isolationism. Those in power will embrace a monocultural. Zhao hopes and believes that “racial and ethnic harmony rests upon mutual understanding and respect” (Zhao, 165, 2009). After the November elections hope and belief will have no place on this side Trump’s Wall.
The ancient Greeks are revered in Western culture. The mythology of the ancient Greeks is part of the Common Core. The American public should read the story of Pandora. Instead of a box, the voters of the United States will soon have a booth. When this modern Pandora’s box of an election is opened the resulting evils will be unleashed upon the world. Fear of competitive globalization will run rampant. Worry of progressive educational reforms will keep learning in the dark. Dread of multicultural understanding will create hate. Fear, dread, and worry will become the standards of our National discourse. But will Hope remain locked away or will the voting public release it?
The Good, Bad, and Ugly Dimensions of Chinese Education | Inside Higher Ed. (2016). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/good-bad-and-ugly-dimensions-chinese-education
Zhao, Y. (2009). Catching up or leading the way: American education in the age of globalization. Alexandria, VA: ASCD