In this edition of the Ed Next Book Club podcast, Mike Petrilli sits down with Tony Wagner to discuss his new book, Creating Innovators.
Business leaders, pundits, and politicians all seem to agree: America needs to get much better at nurturing innovation if we are to rebuild our economy, expand opportunity, and win a secure future for our children. But what exactly is innovation? And more importantly, how can parents and educators develop it in our young people? What can we learn from young adults of the Millennial generation who themselves are highly successful innovators and entrepreneurs? And what does all of this imply for education policy?
To answer these questions and more, Tony Wagner, the author of The Global Achievement Gap, and the first innovation education fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard University, interviewed more than 150 people. The result is his acclaimed and commercially successful recent book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. In today’s edition of the Education Next Book Club, we speak with Tony about his book, innovation, and how schools across the world can help to light the spark of innovation within their students.
To listen to this podcast, click here.
Additional installments of the Ed Next Book Club podcast can be heard here.
What We’re Listening To: Mike Petrilli and Josh Starr on Whether the Brightest Students Are Being Challenged
This week, Ed Next’s Mike Petrilli was a guest on "What’s the Big Idea?," a podcast hosted by Josh Starr, superintendent of schools in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Starr has been in the limelight because he has criticized the amount of standardized testing taking place in schools, arguing that there should be a three-year moratorium on testing while we put the new Common Core standards in place. Montgomery County is currently rolling out a new curriculum that is aligned with the Common Core standards.
Some parents in Montgomery County are unhappy that the county is hoping to limit tracking under the new curriculum. In the past, many students in the wealthy county were offered accelerated instruction in math, but Starr believes that because the new curriculum is more challenging, it should not be necessary to accelerate so many students. He also suggested (in the podcast) that some parents push for their children to receive accelerated math instruction for the wrong reasons.
In the podcast, Petrilli challenged Starr’s claim that students with a wide range of abilities (in math in particular) will be able to be taught effectively in the same classroom using the new curriculum. (The issue of how to ensure that all students are challenged in diverse classrooms is a focus of Petrilli’s new book, The Diverse Schools Dilemma.) Petrilli described his visit to an elementary school in Montgomery County (which was the subject of an Education
Oh, how I would welcome and laud a nationwide education regime in which every high-ability student has access—beginning in Kindergarten—to teachers and classrooms ready and able to expedite and accelerate that youngster’s learning; in which every child moves at her own best pace through an individualized education plan and readily gets whatever help she needs to wind up truly college- and career-ready, whether that happens at age fifteen, eighteen, or twenty-one; and in which every teacher possesses the full range of skills and tools necessary to do right by every single pupil for whom he is responsible, regardless of their current level of achievement.
Millions of high-ability, academically promising youngsters are not receiving the challenging education they need to reach their maximum potential.
Photo by mrcharly
That’s what we should aspire to—and work to make happen. Alas, that’s not how many places currently function. Among the victims of our present dysfunction are millions of high-ability, academically promising youngsters who are not getting the kinds of “gifted-and-talented” education that would likely do them the most good and help them to realize their maximum potential. (Collateral victims are a society and economy that thereby fail to make the most of this latent human capital.)
There’s no agreed-upon definition or metric for “giftedness,” so
Congratulations to Checker, who received the 2012 National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) President’s award for outstanding contributions to the field of gifted education. He accepted the award yesterday at the National Gifted Education Convention in Denver, Colorado, where he spoke about the importance of meeting the needs of our nation’s high-fliers:
"Why keep the supply of these schools limited given the high demand?" "How much human potential is our society failing to realize?" "How much are we squandering?"
For more on gifted education, try one of the following titles:
Exam Schools: Inside America’s Most Selective Public High Schools, by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Jessica Hockett
Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students, by Robert Theaker, Yun Xiang, Michael Dahlin, John Cronin, and Sarah Durant
“Young, gifted, and neglected,” by Chester E. Finn, Jr. (in the New York Times)
“The best bargain in American education,” by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Jessica Hockett (in Education Week)
“Raising the floor, but neglecting the ceiling,” by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Jessica Hockett (in the Washington Examiner)
“Q&A: Chester Finn Talks About Exam Schools,” by Catherine A. Cardno (in Education Week)
About the Editor
Michael J. Petrilli
Executive Vice President
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter.
May 16, 2013
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