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Daggett: Schools must teach thinking skills

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“Our schools aren’t failing,” Daggett said. “The problem is that in the world outside, schools are changing faster than ours.”

The institution entrusted with preparing citizens for a rapidly changing world has been one of the most resistant to innovation, a well-respected education expert said Oct. 30.

Bill Daggett told an audience of almost 1,000 people at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss., that America’s schools are still doing many of the same things they did nearly 100 years ago for no reason other than tradition.

Those schools are educating students better today than they ever have, said Daggett, an internationally recognized leader in the field. The problem is the world is changing much more quickly—and American students are entering school much less prepared.

“Our schools aren’t failing,” he said during the Forum on the Future of Education. “The problem is that in the world outside, schools are changing faster than ours.”

The forum was funded by CREATE Foundation’s Toyota Education Enhancement Fund. It was intended to help an audience of Northeast Mississippi educators, parents, and community leaders better understand changes that are coming.

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“Innovation will really be the secret for where we need to go for our children’s education,” said Mississippi Interim Superintendent of Education Lynn House, who also spoke at the forum.

Schools must be more open to technology, Daggett said, noting new inventions such as more powerful internet search engines, watches and eyeglasses with internet capabilities, and automated cars—innovations that are all available today.

“We are preparing kids for a world you can hardly comprehend,” he said.

Schools must have higher standards, use real-world applications, and teach students to think rather than memorize, he said. Those are the changes that the Common Core State Standards seek to address, he said.

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