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Chatting About Global Competition

The transcripts of chats on edweek.org are a treasure-trove of practical tips, well-informed insights, and strong opinions.

So if you missed the last chat, "Tough Choices: Preparing Students for Global Competition," check it out. Our featured guests were former Boston schools superintendent Thomas W. Payzant and Marc S. Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy.

This transcript is worth reading because it raises some important questions related to student motivation.

At one point in the discussion, Payzant wonders if our country has the will to improve its education system. He recalls a recent trip to China:

"Last year, I was in China for a week and visited schools. I asked what are the most important subjects - the answer was Chinese, English, Mathematics and Science. And then I was told about the other subjects that were important too, including the arts, physical education, etc. This can not all be done in a six hour day, 175 or 180 day school year. Are we prepared to make the commitment to more time and higher quality?"

And, equally important, how would more time in school affect the level of motivation of students? Would they grow even more bored? Or would the extra time be just what educators need to teach more creatively?

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