The Unfinished Revolution
1) The 21st Century Learning Initiative. “The Synthesis.” 1996. The Synthesis is based on the materials presented at the six international conferences the Initiative sponsored from 1995 to 1997. The Synthesis provides an overview of the values and main ideas that have been behind all the Initiative’s work.
2) Vaclav Havel. “Politics, Morality, and Civility.” The Essential Civil Society Reader. (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.), 2000. Havel writes that, despite short-term economic and political opportunism, society is ultimately driven by values and morality. He argues that civil society should be based on “life, thought and dignity.” This article is for people who fear they may becoming cynical.
3) Gary Hamel. Leading the Revolution. (Boston: Harvard University Press), 2000. Leading the Revolution is for everyone who has the guts to act on the knowledge that our heritage is no longer our destiny. With a compelling message that will set the new innovation agenda for the new century. The article is a call to arms for dreamers and doers who will lead us into the age of revolution.
4) Lee Smolin. Epilogue in The Life of the Cosmos. (New York: Oxford University Press), 1996. Smolin’s epilogue describes what the new scientific revolution, one as sweeping and profound as that launched by Copernicus, might mean for those of us who are not scientists. Smolin describes globalization, not from the perspective of economic or political thinking, but rather from the perspective scientific ideas.
5) Peter F. Drucker. “Management Challenges for the 21st Century.” 1998. The father of business management theory describes the trends that will effect all of us in the next few decades. Drucker argues that demographics – an aging population – will have a huge influence on social policy; including education.
6) Wiktor Kulerski and Terry Ryan. “Towards a New Canon in Education.” To be published in a European Union publication, 2001. The authors argue that the change offered by ICTs in education provides the opportunity to look at the purpose of education from first principles. Kulerski and Ryan argue for a 21st century sister document to the Declaration of Human Rights, namely a Declaration of Human Responsibilities towards Nature and Ecology.
Information Communication Technology
1) Jane Healy. “How Do Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds?” The Education Digest, (May 2000). This article examines the advantages and drawbacks of computer use for children at home and in school, exploring its effects on health, cognitive development and creativity. The author is not anti-ICTs, indeed she has a clear vision of their potential when used sensitively.
2) Susan Nelson. “Technology in Schools: Whose Best Interest?” The Education Digest, (May 2000). Nelson argues that given the pace of new developments in technology, many teachers and administrators look like the proverbial deer in the headlights when it comes to technological advancements.
3) Howard Gardner. “The Complete Tutor.” Technos, (Fall 2000). The founder of the concept of multiple intelligences argues that for the first time in human history, it is easy to envision a mass educational environment where interaction can be truly individual.
4) Neil Postman. “Technology.” In Building a Bridge to the 18th Century, (1999). Postman makes the case for human values driving technology, rather than technology driving humans.
5) The Alliance for Childhood. “Fools Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood” The article is at www.allianceforchildhood.net/projects/computers/computers_reports.htm This web site offers a number of articles from educators, cognitive scientists, business leaders and offers who argue for a balanced approach to the use of ICTs by young children. They argue children should not even be exposed to computers until at least age seven.
6) The Washington Post. “High-Tech Twists Boosts Reading: Florida District Restructures Classes, Retrains Teachers to capitalize on Computers.” http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19565-2001Mar30.html This article shows how a school district in the state of Florida has used technology to radically alter how high school teachers teach and students learn.
7) Aharon Aviram. “Integrating ICT and Education in Israel for the Third Millennium.” http://www.21learn.org/acti/aharonict.html This article gives a critical overview of the Israeli experience of using ICTs in public education. Many of the themes raised will be familiar to educators in many countries.
8) Don Tapscott. “Educating the Net Generation.” Educational Leadership, (February 1999). A leading advocate of ICTs in education argues that the power of technologies in the learning process are just now started to be understood and fully utilized. Tapscott argues those taking the lead aren’t educators, but the students themselves.
9) President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. “Report to the President on the Use of Technology to Strengthen K-12 Education in the United States.” 1997. This report, produced by America’s leading researchers and scientists, will strike a chord with readers from other countries as well as those from the United States.
10) The OECD. “Technology in Education: Trends, investment, access and use.” In Education Policy Analysis, 2000. This article is for those people who want to get into the nitty gritty of educational policy and the uses of ICTs in classrooms around the world’s richest countries.
Go-go capitalism and social capital
1) Jonathan Rauch. “The New Old Economy: Oil, computers, and the reinvention of the Earth.” The Atlantic Monthly, (January 2001). This article explains how the power of information communication technologies has dramatically improved the efficiency of old industries – in this case the oil drilling business. It’s a good review of the basic premises behind the concept of “the new economy.”
2) Francis Fukuyama. “Social Capital” In Culture Matters: How values shape human progress. (New York: Basic Books), 2000. Fukuyama provides an explanation of social capital – what it is , how it can be developed and why it matters.
3) Alden Hayashi. “Mommy-Track Backlash.” Harvard Business Review, (March 2001). This article looks at the emerging conflict in American business between parents and nonparents.
4) Steve Farkas, Patrick Foley and Ann Duffett. “Just Waiting to Be Asked?” The Public Agenda Foundation, 2001. This is a survey of the attitudes of teachers, school leaders, parents and the general public towards civic engagement, and in particular engagement with schools and children.
5) Robert Reich. “The Treadmill of the New Economy.” The American Prospect, (January 2001). This article summarizes Reich’s book The Future of Success. Reich explains why the wonders of the new economy comes at a cost – more frenzied lives, less security, more economic and social stratification, the loss of time and energy for family, friendship, community and self.
6) Alan Ryan. “My Way.” The New York Review of Books, (August 10, 2000). Ryan reviews Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone. Ryan agrees with Putnam’s analysis of the decline in America’s social capital, but sees little, besides an unexpected war or natural disaster, that will turn the trend around.
7) Alison Maitland. “The Painful Dilemma of Kids and Career.” Financial Times, (April 9, 2001). This article looks at the emerging research that shows children who spend long hours in daycare are more aggressive than those who don’t. It is another article that raises the level of the debate about the unintended consequences of go-go capitalism.
8) The Saguaro Seminar. “Better Together: Civic engagement in America.” 2000. This report explains what citizens can do to help bring their communities back together again. It builds substantially on the work of Robert Putnam and others who see the decline of social capital as a threat to democracy and the successful education of children.
9) Robert D. Putnam. “The Strange Disappearance of Civic America.” The American Prospect, (Spring 1993). This article explains the concepts detailed in Bowling Alone. The article claims America, and other developed nations, has lost much of the social glue that once allowed society to cohere. He argues America is becoming a nation of strangers to one another without adequate social bond. This is a very important article to understand.
10) Terry Ryan. “The New Economy’s Impact on Learning.” The 21st Century Learning Initiative, 2000. This article is for those people who want to get into the details of the argument around the emergence of a new economy – what is it, who does it benefit, what does it mean for the future? The article looks at the new economy through the lens of the brain as an open and dynamic learning system.
11) Jay Mathews. “Value of Teens’ Work Questioned.” The Washington Post, (April 24, 2001). This article looks at why conservatives in the United States think teenagers would be better off in the classroom studying the basics than spending time in school-work programs. The article does a fine job of explaining the traditional ideological divide that confronts education.
12) Dani Rodrik. “Trading in Illusions.” Foreign Policy, (March/April 2001). Rodrik is one of the most thoughtful critics of globalization. He argues globalization is a loser for the poor.
13) Elizabeth Austin. “Why Homer’s My Hero.” The Washington Monthly. (October 2000). Austin explains the downside of go-go capitalism and how it stresses America’s vast middle-class who feel they never have quite enough. She says Homer Simpson is her hero because he always seems to get by even though he is a regular middle-class guy.
14) The Economist. “The New Economy: Untangling e-conomics.” (September 23, 2000). This is a concise and well-written article outlining the basic principles behind the “new economy.” Its an excellent introductory piece into the topic.
15) Peter Martin. “The Moral Case for Globalization.” Financial Times, (May 1997). Martin argues that globalization is a winner for the poor, and that those who oppose it are actually condemning the poor to continued destitute.
16) The Economist. “The Case for Globalization.” (September 23, 2000). This piece explains why we should all embrace globalization as a good. It’s based on the classic argument that trade makes all nations richer over time. It calls on governments to push for free trade while also helping the losers make the transition to new jobs.