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x Questions for Life: Powerful Strategies to Guide Critical Thinking

every week speaking to educators and championing the cause of improving education. We are both frustrated that change in edu-cation has not been more rapid. We have known for years there is a serious gap between how quickly students need to acquire skills to help them function in life successfully and how slowly and sluggishly the pace of the current educational process is going. Meanwhile, change is coming—perhaps a tsunami of change. Transformations in demographics, economics, technology, and the workforce have created new conditions that will powerfully alter how we deliver and even frame education.

To be sure, there are promising pockets of innovation already opening up in education all over the country—some are highlighted in this book, such as charter schools, privately owned schools, grant-funded schools, and twenty-first-century schools. Many of these are trying various programs and approaches to improve learning, to prepare students for college, to meet educational standards, and to enable students to be competitive in the global economy. While these attempts and their varying degrees of success are admirable, would it not be more logical to provide learning tools that shift the focus from “getting” students to learn to creating an environment where they will want—and be able—to learn?

Change is often resisted and feared, but it needn’t be. The kinds of long overdue changes coming to education promise to unleash educators’ abilities to be creative and to work with real-world appli-cations, so students can become engaged and responsible for their learning as they see the direct impact it has on their lives.

At some critical point in the not too distant future there may well be some very dynamic and innovative changes in our education system. Perhaps one of the many new, privately funded charter schools will come across a formula that improves learning for all. Maybe it will be found that we do not need only one standard of education. In view of the diversity in our world and considering the multiple avenues of information available to us, including our newly

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