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5

To be sure, the core subjects that have been taught in schools for generations will continue to be necessary and desirable in education. The Partnership for 21 st Century Skills, an organization consisting of bothpublic andprivate institutions, was formed in 2002 to create a successful model of learning with a focus on identifying twenty-first-century skills and incorporating them into education. When reporting on the achievement gap between the lowest- and highest-performing students, the Partnership stated:

People with only basic competencies are the most likely to flounder in the rising high-skill, high-wage service economy. To prepare students to be competi-tive, the nation needs “NCLB plus” agenda [No Child Left Behind] that infuses 21 st century skills into core academic subjects. This is not an either-or agenda. Students canmaster 21 st century skills while they learn reading, mathematics, science, writing, and other school subjects. 3

Abundance, Asia, and Automation

Daniel H. Pink’s A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future 4 offers an alarming, yet lighthearted encapsulation of trends that are transforming the world in ways comparable to such dramatic shifts as moving from the Agricultural Age to the In- dustrial Age, and from the Industrial Age to the Information or Knowledge Age. He identifies three major forces that are causing a paradigm shift in the world: Abundance, Asia, and Automation.

Abundance

As a premise, Pink makes the point that skills and types of think-ing used in the Knowledge Age, such as computing, linear thinking, logic, and analysis, are left-brained functions. (He refers to these as

Chapter 1: Ready or Not, Here Comes Change!

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