Education Reform Lecture with Tony Wagner Tonight
The event is free and open to the public.
Speaker Tony Wagner will talk to parents and teachers of public and independent schools on revolutionary ideas about education reform Thursday night at Peddie School.
“I think both parents and teachers need to understand that we’re not teaching the skills that matter most,” Wagner said in a phone interview Wednesday.
He explained that in the new global economy there’s no advantage for an individual in the workforce to have more knowledge than his competitor.
“It’s not how much you know but what you can do with the information you possess,” he said.
According to Wagner, teachers no longer have access to more information than their students.
“The current education system is based on knowledge scarcity but now entire curriculums are online,” he said.
Wagner wants lecture attendees to understand that even America’s best schools are not teaching the skills that matter most and certainly not assessing them in the right way.
Failure, he wrote, is currently penalized in most academic institutions but without trial and error there is no innovation. Instead of being a passive experience, learning should be hands-on with students becoming creators not merely consumers.
Wagner noted that according to his research, innovators are already motivated and simply need to be exposed to discovery-based learning. In turn, they will pursue their passions and eventually find a sense of purpose.
In his new book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World, Wagner said he interviewed several successful, freethinking young people and proposed an innovation-driven economy is developed.
“In it, I talk about habits and dispositions so I think it’s applicable to parents, educators and business people,” Wagner said.
The lecture, starting 7:30 p.m. in William Mount-Burke Theater at Peddie School, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served starting at 7 p.m.