The Opportunity Gap

The academic achievement gaps we see in schools today are a direct result of the opportunity gaps that exist in and outside of the education system. Disadvantaged communities many of our children live in are incapable of providing environments or opportunities for them to thrive in their intrinsic abilities, but schools should be. As long as the education system constricts its focus on providing opportunities to learners based on the achievement gap, the surrounding inequitable factors of the opportunity gap will continue. The causes are ubiquitous: college-bound learners unable to afford tuition; unconventional learners never exposed to upper-level courses; impoverished learners with less access to resources at home and at school; cognitively starved learners without early-childhood programs; culture-deficient educators invalidating children’s diversities through absence of preservice and professional development opportunities. These are the realities of today, so what do we do?

Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms

Humans and Our Complexities

Many factors go into a single human being, especially when it comes to learning, motivation, and reason. Organizations must consider all factors, from learners to educators, corporate heads to consumers.

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Questions to Consider

  • What traits and implications are at each end of this spectrum?

  • Do they hold true when an individual is found at each end?

  • What skills are necessary for all work force fields?

  • What knowledge is necessary for all work force fields?

  • What personality traits are necessary for all work force fields?

Last Notes

  • Curricula, Instruction, and Assessment must always be in refinement

  • Performance, not Compliance

  • Stewardship Model, no Gofer Model (Covey)

  • Knowledge is not Understanding

  • Remembering is not Learning

  • The levels of skill application is essential

  • Expect higher-level thinking

  • Rigor=complexity of tasks/mastery of applying high-level thinking skills