The chapter also addressed the subjects that are taught in high school and how they apply to the workplace. According to the book "knowledge of mathematics did not make the top ten list of skills employers deemed important in new hires (p.91) It would seem that many employers would consider knowledge of mathematics important but many jobs require little or no knowledge of math. The occupations that do require some math skills also give you the tools to make those computations easy with calculators or computer programs that do all the math for you after inputting the data. I think we are also testing students on things they can easily look up on their computers. In my class, we recently tested students on their memorization of Spanish-speaking countries and capitals. I did not have any say in this but I wondered about why they would need to memorize something they can easily research on the internet and find the answer in seconds.
In chapter 4 Wagner discussed teacher education programs. I think there is a large disconnect between the theory that we are learning and how teachers are being trained. For example, according to the research, lecturing is often an effective teaching method and yet we are lectured for hours at the university. We are also told about the ineffectiveness of homework and yet we are given an inordinate amount of work to do at home. These are two areas that I feel the teaching program at San Marcos can improve. In my classroom I am moving away from giving daily homework. I give them classwork to do in class and ask questions when they need clarification. To me, students should do most of their learning in the classroom. If school is their job, then they should go home and not have to think about their job and enjoy other aspects of their lives that have nothing to do with school.
If I was king of the world I would design a teaching program where the professors would lecture less. They would teach a mini-lesson and then allow time for students to collaborate and work on their assignments. This way, many teacher candidates wouldn't go home, read their assignment instructions and be thoroughly confused. Teacher candidates need opportunities to work on their assignments during the course time so that they can ask questions from the professors and also their colleagues.
Wagner, T. (2008). The Global Achievement Gap: Why even our best schools don’t teach the new survival skills our children need - and what we can do about it. New York, NY: Basic Books