For the first time in human history, we are living in an age where the youth of our nation know more about society's cutting-edge tools than the adults charged with passing society's technical and cultural knowledge on to them. Most of our young people have far more facility with computer and telecommunications technology than our teaching corps - and, generally, that gap only widens as students travel from elementary school all the way to university and beyond.
It's a brave new - and, often, dangerous - world that today's youth must learn to navigate. Now, more than ever, they need educators to step up and teach them how to be critical thinkers able to discriminate between the true and the merely seductive, to see beyond the glossy veneer on harmful websites harmful ideas and, sadly, harmful people in both the real and cyber worlds. We need to spend a little less time teaching students how to take standardized tests and a lot more time developing their critical faculties, so they will be able to solve life's problems, profi t from challenging situations, and understand the increasingly complex world they must ken at an earlier and earlier age.