A Whole New Brain

Until the end of the 20th century the left brain was in charge. Logical and sequential thinking characteristics were readily identified as desirable qualities to engender in children. What has changed over the last 20 years and continues to change more rapidly by the day? Communication is the answer. With the unlimited opportunities to communicate a message, creativity, synthesis and the ability to see the whole must be developed in order for students to succeed in the 21st Century. These are right brain skills. Don’t take my word for it. Find a copy of Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Brain. It promises to be a make-you-think kind of book full of practical applications for teaching and learning. I will be reading this book over the winter break and plan to share what I think the implications are for teaching students to be successful communicators. If you beat me to it please post your reactions here in the comments section.

If you are asking yourself why I would be writing about a book written from a business perspective consider this: Business drives education by demanding a workers with specific abilities. Education seems to have a slow turn around time when it comes to producing what industry needs and preparing students to think out-of-the-box. We must speed up the process in order for the US to remain competitive in the global market. After all, education is designed to make students productive members of society. Productive infers participation and participation is predicated on the ability to think and communicate effectively.

Parents and teachers play a critical role modeling valuable thinking skills. We have a 21st Century thinker at the helm of our elementary school, Mr. Trussell. He is an excellent problem solver and communicator. Our PTA is incredibly proactive and supportive. What more can we do? The key is to model life long learning to our children by continuing to read everything we can get our hands on . If we don’t understand, dialogue, ask questions, post comments. Become a social learning advocate for your child.

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