Standardized testing is at cross purposes with many of the most important purposes of public education. It doesn’t measure big-picture learning, critical thinking, perseverance, problem solving, creativity or curiosity, yet those are the qualities great teaching brings out in a student.
When student performance shows increases on test scores, that improvement is not associated with an increase in ‘fluid intelligence’ – that is, using logical thinking and problem solving in novel situations, rather than recalling previously learned facts and skills.
I honestly don’t know, but if America continues to refuse to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, I see a bleak future not only for American society, but for the world as a whole. This is a global problem that is not going away, and the United States is an obstacle to solving it.
The presidential candidates are offering prescriptions for everything from Iraq to healthcare, but listen closely. Their fixes are situational and incremental. Meanwhile, the underlying structural problems in American politics and government are systemic and prevent us from solving our most intractable challenges.
Kids need time for problem solving, critical thinking, applying knowledge through project-based instruction, working in teams, falling down and getting right back up to figure out what they didn’t understand and why.
One of the main lessons I have learned during my five years as Secretary-General is that broad partnerships are the key to solving broad challenges. When governments, the United Nations, businesses, philanthropies and civil society work hand-in-hand, we can achieve great things.
As a civil servant in charge of the government’s Strategy Unit, I brought in many people from outside government, including academia and science, to work in the unit, dissecting and solving complex problems from GM crops to alcohol, nuclear proliferation to schools reform.
Because thought has by now been perverted into the solving of assigned problems, even what is not assigned is processed like a problem.
Investigation may be likened to the long months of pregnancy, and solving a problem to the day of birth. To investigate a problem is, indeed, to solve it.
Solving climate change is a complex topic, but in a single crude brush-stroke, here is the solution: the price of carbon dioxide must be such that people stop burning coal without capture.