Program Narrative

Who is preparing our students for the jobs that await them when they graduate?

GPS.gif Business leaders, economists, politicians, futurists and many educational leaders all seem to agree that it is not the American School system. The critical thinking, problem solving, information literacy, knowledge management, technology, and global communication and collaboration skills required for success in the 21st century demand drastic reforms and pedagogical changes to the traditional teaching and learning environments evident in our schools today. Students themselves recognize the disconnect between what they learn in the classroom and the world they encounter outside the school. The preponderance of disengaged students and excessive drop out rate support this theory. Tools that can actually help them to explore the curriculum in greater detail, from various perspectives, accessing scholarship far more detailed and explicit than is offered by the teacher or textbook, are inaccessible, sometimes intentionally. Students with limited English language proficiency face many challenges that can be mitigated if not eliminated with access to the proper technologies. All students need to be armed with strategies to become self-directed learners who manage their own learning, develop the ability to recognize and articulate a need for information, know how to locate, evaluate, and use information from various formats, know and understand the literacy, protocols, and marketing strategies of the Internet, recognize the power of the Internet to influence opinions and policy, and understand that what they write or publish on the Internet today can and probably will be subjected to review when applying to college or a job. 21st century students need to become knowledge managers, content producers instead of content consumers, and global communicators and collaborators. American students are falling further behind the hundreds of thousands of foreign students who possess a more disciplined work ethic and who are harnessing the power of the internet to gain access to vast amounts of knowledge and develop highly competitive work skills. Already America has lost countless jobs because the internet has made it possible to work remotely from anywhere in the world. Never has it been more important that we produce critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, researchers, innovators, visionaries, team builders, all capable of adapting and independently learning new information and skills, when needed.

This grant proposal seeks to define and model how true 21st century teaching and learning can improve literacy and math scores while engaging students in meaningful, authentic learning experiences that provide opportunities to gain deep understandings of the curriculum content and develop 21st century knowledge acquisition and productivity skills.

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General Information: RFP