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Topic: [math-learn] Should Global Competitiveness Be the Main Driver of Education

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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,251
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
[math-learn] Should Global Competitiveness Be the Main Driver of Education

Posted: May 31, 2012 12:50 PM
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Some subscribers to Math-Learn might be
interested in a recent discussion-list post
"Should Global Competitiveness Be the Main Driver
of Education Reform?" The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: EDDRA2's Michael Paul Goldenberg
pointed to a guest post by Gerald Coles
"Educating to Compete in the 'Global Economy':
Creating Idiot Savantism" at
<>. Coles, in turn, pointed
to Diane Ravitch's "Flunking Arne Duncan" at
<>. Ravitch wrote: ". . . .
the nation forgot that education has a greater
purpose than preparing our children to compete in
the global economy."

I agree with Coles and Ravitch that "global
competitiveness" should not be the main driver of
education reform. In a discussion list post "Is
the 'Skills Slowdown' the Biggest Issue Facing
the Nation?" at <>, I
countered David Brooks' claim
<> that it was, arguing that
the "Threat to Life on Planet Earth" was the
biggest issue facing the nation.

Likewise, I think the "Threat to Life on Planet
Earth" and NOT "global competitiveness" should be
the main driver of education reform, contrary to
the themes of NRC reports: (a) "Rising Above the
Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America
for a Brighter Future" of 2007 at
<>; (b) "Is America Falling
Off the Flat Earth?" of 2007 at
<>; and (c) "Rising Above the
Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching
Category 5" of 2010 at <>.

To access the complete 23 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <>
Links to SDI Labs: <>
Blog: <>
Academia: <>
Twitter <!/rrhake>
GooglePlus: <>

The global population is precariously large, and
will become much more so before peaking some time
after 2050. Humanity overall is improving per
capita production, health, and longevity. But it
is doing so by eating up the planet's capital,
including natural resources and biological
diversity millions of years old. Homo sapiens is
approaching the limit of its food and water
supply. Unlike any species before, it is also
changing the world's atmosphere and climate,
lowering and polluting water tables, shrinking
forests, and spreading deserts. Most of the
stress originates directly or indirectly from a
handful of industrialized countries. Their proven
formulas for prosperity are being eagerly adopted
by the rest of the world. The emulation cannot be
sustained, not with the same levels of
consumption and waste. Even if the
industrialization of the developing countries is
only partially successful, the environmental
aftershock will dwarf the population explosion
that preceded it."
- E.O. Wilson (1998)

"The paleoclimate record makes it clear that a
target to keep human made global warming less
than 2°C, as proposed in some international
discussions, is not sufficient - IT IS A
Assessment of the dangerous level of CO2, and the
dangerous level of warming, is made difficult by
the inertia of the climate system. The inertia,
especially of the ocean and ice sheets, allows us
to introduce powerful climate forcings such as
atmospheric CO2 with only moderate initial
response. But that inertia is not our friend - it
means that **we are building in changes for
future generations that will be difficult, if not
impossible, to avoid**."
- James Hansen & Makiko Sato (2011)

REFERENCES [All URL's accessed on 30 May 2012,
most shortened by <>.]
Hake, R.R. 2012. "Should Global Competitiveness
Be the Main Driver of Education Reform?" online
on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at
<>. Post of 30 May 2012
19:44:01-0700to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract
and link to the complete post are also being
transmitted to several discussion lists and are
on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at
<> with a provision for

Hansen, J.E. & M. Sato. 2011. "Paleoclimate
Implications for Human-Made Climate Change," 20
July, online at
<>; to appear in
Berger, Mesinger, and Sijaci, eds., "Climate
Change at the Eve of the Second Decade of the
Century: Inferences from Paleoclimate and
Regional Aspects: Proceedings of Milutin
Milankovitch 130th Anniversary Symposium"
(Springer, in press), a popularization of this
paper is online as a 213 kB pdf at

Wilson, E.O. 1998. "Consilience: The Unity of
Knowledge." Knopf. information at
<>, note the searchable
"Look Inside" feature.

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