Author: Manfred J. von Vulte
21st Century education is at the cross-roads. It can continue to be defined by a narrow scope, benefiting the median student who can muster moments of brilliance assisted by the technology he or she so easily wields, or it can salvage what was deemed noble by tradition and merge them with the modernistic tools and educational innovations of the new century. Education has reached a point where its students and parents have either seen the limitations of the system and accepted them, or have forged some external responses to them. These retorts can be seen in the following manifestations: the rise of after- school athletics, where sports are now played that have been deemed too aggressive for school, the explosion of tutoring centres who are capitalizing on the fact that process has been a small part of the curriculum and rudimentary skills are overshadowed by what can be best described as educational pulp, and finally, the growth of the independent/private schools and home schooling, where total abdication from public systems has come to rest. Comic books, robotics, industrial arts, instrumental music, cooking, camping, fine art, and other genuine experiential initiatives need to be examined by today's schools. The empty promises of video games and their ethereal claim to genuine experience has produced a significant student body that is resigned to mediocrity, and virtual encounters that provide neither the authentic feeling of victory, nor the reviled sting of true defeat. Students are looking for the genuine, in their teachers, lessons, and activities. 21st Century education by comic book or by hook will rest in the power of professional dynamism and the authentic teaching of practice, process, and prolonged proficiency.