Ei-iE

Hatwood Futrell offers blueprint for education

published 26 March 2008 updated 26 March 2008

EI's founding President Mary Hatwood Futrell says redefining schooling is not a national issue, but a global one.

She was speaking recently to an audience of thousands of educators at the annual meeting of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), a non-profit, non-partisan organisation representing 175,000 educators in 119 countries.

Dr Hatwood Futrell said that all nations are experiencing the need to educate many more millions of low-income students for 21st Century jobs. Although the United States used to lead in educating the poor, it now needs to catch up with other nations, she said.

She suggested the following priorities:

  • Focus more on early student learning. In some nations, early childhood education starts with 3-year-olds.
  • Strengthen the core curriculum, but don't narrow it. Every child needs the arts, technology, geography, history, and foreign language in addition to math, science, reading, and language arts.
  • Give every child a highly prepared teacher, and provide ongoing professional development, including technology training, to teachers. To do this, we need to transform schools of education.
  • Maximize the capacity of schools by considering smaller class size, longer days, and longer school years. The United States has one of the shortest school years, she noted.