ACTE Techniques February 2012 : Page 40

Fea ture By N. Susan Emeagwali with ACTE staff contributors Annual Convention in St. Louis a Dynamic Convergence THAT THE WORLD HAS CHANGED A LOT SINCE “BRAy TOLD THE AUDIENCE N EARLY 3,000 CAREER AND tECHNICAL educators SHE FIRST STOOD ON THE STAGE AS ACTE’S CHIEF ExECUTIVE 10 yEARS AGO; WHAT HASN’T CHANGED, HOWEVER, IS ACtE’S COMMItMENt tO MOVE tHE ASSOCIAtION FORWARD AND A StRONG BELIEF IN tHE FIELD OF CtE AND tHE EDUCAtORS IN ItS FOLD.” PHOTO COURTESy OF MARK BEAVEN from across the country con -verged upon St. Louis, Missouri, for the premier professional development event in career and technical education (CTE). The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) held its Annual Con -vention and Career Tech Expo November 17-19, bringing together teachers, admin -istrators, counselors and students to take part in professional development, network -ing and training with leaders in the field. To kick off the three-day event, ACTE President Jim Comer and ACTE Execu -tive Director Jan Bray took to the stage at the Opening General Session to welcome attendees. Bray told the audience that the world has changed a lot since she first stood on the stage as ACTE’s chief execu -tive 10 years ago; what hasn’t changed, however, is ACTE’s commitment to move the association forward and a strong belief in the field of CTE and the educators in its fold. “Yes, we have had a lot of change and change is good,” she said. “We will always honor our past, yet we will never hesitate to move forward. But with that change one thing that has never wavered, is our belief in career and technical education and the value you bring to this nation. Members of ACTE are the heart and soul of this organization and that will never change.” Sir Ken robinson: The Future Depends on New Thinking Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and education, noted that changing the educational landscape in the United States is integral to the success of young people and the na -tion as a whole. In a world where the only constant is change, the nation’s young people are being educated in an educa-tion system that is a relic of another age. Dr. Robinson, who’s lived in this coun -try for 10 years, noted that matters are compounded by legislation put into place that do nothing to address today’s unique realities. He said there is irony about one particular legislation, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), because it is leaving mil -lions of young people behind every day. “It’s not intentional,” he said. “Nobody sets out in government to undermine the talents and abilities of our students or to demoralize them, that’s not the inten-tion…It’s the effects of the legislation.” The current system as embodied in NCLB is predicated on a very narrow view of ability—academic ability. Aca -demic ability is specific—a certain type of critical thinking that gets watered down by the time it gets into our public schools, according to Dr. Robinson. “It’s why most children spend most of the day doing clerical work in school,” he said. This limited focus on academic in -telligence belies the truth that intelligence is multidimensional. “My contention has always been that human intelligence is wonderfully diverse, human ability is tremendously expansive and education for historical reasons only ever touches on a small part of it—and that is why so many people go through the whole of their education and think that they’re not really good at anything,” he said. 40 Techniques Februar y 2012

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