The way in which U.S. schools are ran today are not adequate for the growing needs of students in the 21st century. According the Darling-Hammond (2010), if these trends continue, by 2012, America will have 7 million jobs in science and technology fields, “green” industries, and other fields that cannot be filled by U.S. workers (p. 3). Other nations have figured out how to educate their youth, and those students will take the jobs of their U.S. counterparts if the U.S. does not change the ways in which we educate our youth. Darling-Hammond (2010), found that higher-achieving nations are more focused on quality teachers, and development of curriculum and assessment that encourages continuous reflection of teachers and students (p. 8). There is a need for change in the current education system, which was designed to educate students in the 20th century. According the Darling-Hammond (2010), “At least 70% of U.S. jobs now require specialized knowledge and skills, as compared to only 5% at the dawn of the last century, when our current system of schooling was established (p. 2).
Now that a need for change has been identified, it is up to the districts, schools and teachers to implement the changes. Through much research Darling-Hammond (2010), has identified five essential features of education that need to be changed to help prepare students for success in elementary though college. These five features include: small school size or learning communities within the school, personalization and strong relationships among teachers and students, challenging and relevant instruction, performance based instruction, and collaboration of teachers (p. 244).
The aspect of small school size and learning communities are important to schools success, because it allows students to feel important in the school system. Studies have been done by Darling-Hammond (2010), and have identified that there is less... [continues]
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