Day: April 11, 2018

Hypothesis Testing 5 Steps and Logic

Hypothesis Testing 5 Steps and Logic

The five-step processes for hypothesis testing are the following. Step1. Specify the null hypothesis H0 and alternative hypothesis H1. The null hypothesis is the hypothesis that the researcher formulates and proceeds to test. If the null hypothesis is rejected after the test, the hypothesis to be accepted is called the alternative hypothesis. For example if the researcher wants to compare the average value generated by two different procedures the null hypothesis to be tested is [pic] and the alternative hypothesis is [pic] Step2.

Specify the significance level ((). The significance level of a test is the probability of rejecting a null hypothesis when it is true. A test is to be constructed in such a manner that the probability of committing this error (Type I error) a pre assigned value. Step3. Specify the test statistic and its sampling distribution. The decision to accept or reject a null hypothesis is to be based on the sample values. But, the sample values as such cannot be used for this purpose. Hence, we use a statistic, called test statistic, for this purpose.

Based on the value of this test statistic we decide either to reject or accept the null hypothesis. Step4. The fourth step is to calculate the probability value (often called the p value). The p-value is the probability of obtaining the test value as large as the observed value, when the null hypothesis was really true. Thus it can be interpreted as the probability of wrongly rejecting the null hypothesis. This is to be calculated by using the sampling distribution of the test statistic.

Step5. The p value computed in Step 4 is compared with the significance level chosen in Step 2. If the p value is less than or equal to the significance level, then the null hypothesis is rejected; if the probability is greater than the significance level then the null hypothesis is not rejected. When the null hypothesis is rejected, the outcome is said to be “statistically significant”. When the null hypothesis is not rejected then the outcome is said to be “not statistically significant. “

Changi Extended Response

Changi Extended Response

EXTENDED RESOPONSE John Doyle’s Changi episodes are about the struggle of the Australian prisoners of war. The series mainly focuses on six young Australian men giving an insight of each character’s deepest struggle within the camp. There are many themes evident within the episodes, Seeing is believing, Curley, Private Bill and Pacifying the angels. Some of which include power and atrocities of war. These themes are also apparent throughout Edward Zwick’s 2006 film ‘Blood Diamond’, which is about a country torn apart by the struggle of the government and rebel forces.

According to the Macquarie dictionary, the term Power is defined as possession of controlling influence that a person or object holds over someone or something. The theme atrocities of war can be defined as the quality of being shockingly cruel and inhumane as an effect of war. Within each episode techniques are used to accentuate these themes such as dialogue, descriptive language, zooming, cross cutting, sound effects and camera angles. The theme of Power has been expertly utilised within John Doyle’s Changi episode ‘Seeing is believing’.

Within the episode, power is demonstrated through the Japanese people. In a particular scene a Japanese Lieutenant is shown standing on a pedestal stating the rules of the camp to the POW’s. The Japanese Lieutenant states, “Any man who tries to leave will die, any man who steals food from the Chinese will die, any man who makes trade will die! ” Power is portrayed through this quotation by the use of descriptive language, also the positioning of the Lieutenant in comparison to the POW’s signifies that he is in a higher position.

Whilst the Japanese Lieutenant states the rules, the camera focuses on a close up shot on his face which remains dominant and strong, the camera then cross cuts to a close up of the POW’s who look afraid and weak. The use of this technique emphasises the superiority the Japanese people contain over the POW’s. Power is also demonstrated through the Japanese within the episode ‘Curley’. Within this episode, Curley is severely punished by the Japanese Lieutenants and sent into solitary confinement due to stealing a can of food.

The camera focuses on a mid shot of Curley semi naked and covered in mud to emphasise the fact that Curley was being treated inhumanely. This enables the audience to visualise the extreme power the Japanese held to be able to freely keep a human in that condition. The theme of power has also been efficaciously demonstrated within Edward Zwick’s film, ‘Blood diamond’. Within a particular scene of the film, the R. U. F (Rebel group) is shown invading the village of Cierra Leone, capturing innocent men and amputating off their limbs in order to discourage them from voting in the upcoming elections.

As the R. U. F invade the village, dark ominous music is played to suggest that something bad is soon to occur. Whilst the R. U. F amputates the limbs of the innocent villagers, the camera focuses on a close up shot of their face which then cross cuts to a close up shot of the villagers as well as their limbs being amputated. The techniques associated within this particular scene are deliberately used to emphasise the power the R. U. F enhold.

The theme of the atrocities of war has been efficaciously proven within John Doyle’s episodes, ‘Private Bill’ and ‘Pacifying the angels’. Within the episode ‘Private Bill’ atrocities of war is displayed through the actions of the Japanese towards the POW’s. In a particular scene, Captain Tanaka visits the Changi camp to inspect the troops. Captain Tanaka singles out Lofty Morgan an Australian POW, with gun in hand he forces him to run across the premises within 5 seconds. Tanaka then shoots Lofty in the head as he failed to succeed.

The camera is positioned in a bird’s eye view, portraying deceased Lofty, the rest of the POW’s surrounding him and the Japanese commanders walking away. This specific technique is used to allow the audience to witness the atrocity of war the Japanese commander just performed on Lofty Morgan. Similarly this theme is articulated within the episode ‘Pacifying the angles’. Within this episode, the Japanese men lose control after their defeat in the war, therefore resulting in their anger being released through a massacre on the POW’s.

The technique of a bird’s eye view is used to illustrate the atrocity of war the Japanese people performed on the POW’s. The theme of the atrocities of war is also performed within Edward Zwick’s 2006 film ‘blood diamond’. Within a specific scene the R. U. F is shown teaching young kid’s to kill those who do not respect them. This is evident through the quotation aimed to the children, “shed their blood”. The use of descriptive language within the previous statement accentuates the atrocity of war that is being brought upon the children. The cene turns into a massacre which is viewed through a bird’s eye view, also to accentuate the atrocity of war that is being performed on the innocent villagers. In culmination it is evident that the themes of power and atrocities of war have been efficaciously embodied throughout John Doyle’s Changi miniseries as well as Edward Zwick’s film Blood Diamond. The theme of power is evident within the episodes, ‘Seeing is believing’, ‘Curley’ and the film ‘Blood diamond’, as the Japanese and the R. U. F prove their superiority through various situations.

Similarly the theme of the atrocities of war is also evident within the Changi episodes, ‘Private Bill’ and ‘Pacifying the angels’ as well as Zwick’s film, as the R. U. F and the Japanese clearly perform brutal acts upon innocent people as a result of war. Overall it is evident that each theme utilised within John Doyle’s Changi miniseries as well as Edward Zwick’s film ‘Blood diamond’ has been effectively supported through the techniques, dialogue, descriptive language, zooming, cross cutting, sound effects and camera angles.

Methods of Medieval Torture

Methods of Medieval Torture

Without a doubt, there is not a single person living today that would attempt to disprove the known fact that methods of torture during medieval times were both cruel and most definitely did not fit the crime in which they were intended to compensate for. This paper is intended to confirm the media’s portrayal, specifically Hollywood, of the tortuous methods of a time period where the techniques and procedures utilized to prove a point were perceived as reasonable.

Contrary to most popular opinion, methods of medieval torture were actually chosen with much deliberation and were not executed until a legitimate conviction had been proven. A conviction “of serious crime required either the testimony of two impeachable eyewitnesses or the defendant’s confession before the judge. ”1 It is evident that the methods used to torture, maim, and kill criminals between the 13th and 16th centuries were definitely heinous, but during that time period, these methods were proven to be successful, just, and a crucial element of a very historical judicial system.

Within that “judicial torture” system, the most popular methods of horrific medieval torture included, but were not limited to, water torture, Before scrutinizing the different methods of medieval torture, a more in-depth analysis must be written to explain the science behind all of these methods. In 1866, Edward H. Lecky put the strange science of medieval torture into his own descriptive words: What strikes us most in considering the medieval tortures is not so much their diabolical barbarity … as the extraordinary variety, and what may be termed the artistic skill, they displayed.

They represent a condition of thought in which men had pondered long and carefully on all the forms of suffering, had compared and combined the different kinds of torture, till they had become the most consummate masters of their art, had expanded on the subject all the resources of the utmost ingenuity, and had pursued it with the ardor of a passion. The system was matured under the medieval habit of thought, it was adopted by the inquisitors, and it received its finishing touches from their ingenuity. Most methods were not torture techniques that consisted of their face value; torture methods were strategically created for two reasons: in order to reprimand guilt or the reason that most individuals have never known or realized, in order to prove innocence. Although some torture methods were definitely more effective than others, many forms existed that everyone in the middle ages thought could prove guilt or innocence; the philosophy behind it being that the Gods above would prevent any pain to the individual if that person was innocent.

If the individual was guilty, then the method of medieval justice became grueling torture. 3 However, on the contrary, would it not be suffice if other methods were used to deem innocence or guilt? Christopher Einolf wrote the following regarding medieval torture methods: Finally, medieval ordeals are not considered torture, even though some ordeals involved pain, as inflicting pain was not the goal of the ordeal. Instead, pain was an incidental part of a procedure designed to ascertain God’s opinion of whether the person was truthful or untruthful, guilty of innocent.

Some ordeals, such as the ordeal to test for witchcraft by having a suspected witch float in water (on the theory that water would “reject” a witch as unnatural and a witch would float), did not involve pain at all, demonstrating that the infliction of pain was not a necessary component of the ordeal. 4 It is interesting to hear the opinion of another author, especially when speaking about something as horrific as torture.

Regardless, if the medieval justice system was attempting to prove innocence or guilt through torture, in retrospect, it seems obvious that maybe other means were available and could have been utilized to prove that- not necessarily pain. In addition to proving innocence or guilt, it is imperative that one more aspect of the medieval judicial system be addressed. Not only was the use of torture essential for so-called “proof,” torture was utilized in order to more or less induce a confession, not just to observe how pain and torture affected the individual in question.

In order to examine the inducing of a confession more closely, John Langbein wrote the following: But torture as the medieval lawyers understood it had nothing to do with official misconduct or with criminal sanctions. Rather, the application of torture was a routine and judicially supervised feature of European criminal procedure. Under certain circumstances the law permitted the criminal courts to employ physical coercion against suspected criminals in order to induce them to confess.

The law went to great lengths to limit this technique of extorting confessions to cases in which it was thought that the accused was highly likely to be guilty, and to surround the use of torture with other safeguards…5 Water torture, one of the first invented torture methods, came in numerous forms. First, boiling water was used in order to examine innocence or not. For minor offenses, the hand would be put in boiling water until a decent burn occurred; for major offenses, the entire arm would be submerged for a length of time. The burns would then be covered and after three days, the bandages would be removed.

If the burn was still visible, the accused was guilty; if the burn was gone (which never happened), then the accused was innocent. 6 Needless to say, there was an overabundance of guilty persons. Other than attempting to drown a person being potentially accused, another method involved the use of ice cold water. The hands and feet would be bound together tightly, and then another rope would be attached to the feet and hands. A knot would be tied at a specified distance from the bound feet and hands. The body would be lowered into a pool of the ice cold water; if the knot was submerged, the person was deemed innocent.

If that knot never touched the water and remained dry, then the individual would just stay submerged because that proved guilty. As cruel as this method seems, it pleased those who were being entertained by observing it. 7 The next popular form of torture during medieval times was categorized as mutilation. “Death and mutilation were standard punishments for major crimes throughout medieval Europe, and in many other societies and times as well. ”8 Mutilation was obviously not a technique used to prove innocence or guilt; it was used immediately upon finding out guilt or confession.

The more pain that could be inflicted among the accused, the more justice was served (in the eyes of the onlookers and those directly affected by the major crime). “As the middle ages progressed, the popularity of mutilation peaked and then fell…therefore a thief would lose his hand or perhaps his covetous eyes. A poacher would risk his legs, by which he trespassed on another’s land. ”9 Normally, a mutilation would take place on what was called the pillory. A pillory was a metal or wooden framework used to secure the hands and feet of a victim who was about to feel the losing side of the medieval justice system. 0 While having the victim properly secured on a pillory, the torturer would have the perfect platform to successfully perform his tasks. Whether it was cutting eyes out, lips off, or removing fingers and toes one by one, justice was going to be served. Additionally, Karen Farrington elaborated on the extent in which mutilation occurs: The mutilation of the dead also occurred. It became the custom to punish the most reviled criminals, those who were convicted as traitors, by hanging, drawing and quartering them. The drawing was the method by which they arrived at the gallows.

They were affixed to hurdles and pulled by a horse. After being hanged, their bodies were taken down, beheaded, and cut into four quarters. Just as severed heads were set upon poles and placed at vantage points, so were the quarters. 11 Lastly, the most popular form of medieval justice came in the form categorized as the “torture chamber. ” Even though all methods of torture could be performed within a torture chamber, most tortures, other than those performed in the torture chamber, were performed in front of audiences, more or less the “courtroom. It was in these chambers that most of the potentially accused were forced to confess. “Medieval law required the accused to admit their guilt. So confessions were extracted at any price. No matter that the ‘guilty’ plea was won by coercion of the vilest means [those means took place in the torture chamber]. ”12 Even though everyone in the medieval era believed that when the accused went to the underworld they would receive just treatment for whatever the accused did, the rulers and spectators alive on the surface wanted to ensure that they sent their accused properly to hell.

Stephen Teiser wrote the following regarding what rulers and citizens of the medieval era contemplated when comparing crimes and punishments with hell: The tortures of the underworld are hardly arbitrary; most kinds of torture correspond formally to the nefarious deeds that are their cause. Those who use their mouths to tell lies, for example, are repaid by having molten lead poured down their throats, while those who withhold food offerings from wandering monks are reborn to perpetual hunger. 3 It is evident that the citizens of the medieval era want to witness the harsh treatment of torture, but unfortunately for the excited spectator, they usually do not get to witness the forced gruesome confessions in the torture chambers; they only witness what is performed after the confession has been given. But, according to historic records and this paper, it is definitely apparent that the treatment completed after a confession in front of an audience is just as dreadful as the suffering that takes place in a torture chamber.

After completing the extremely interesting research to complete this paper, it is now particularly clear as to how and why torture methods were widely utilized in the medieval era. To use these horrifying methods to first observe whether or not someone was guilty or innocent is beyond comprehension, but 500 years ago, it was normal judicial practice. Furthermore, it is unfathomable that most confessions were forced out of the potentially accused. To imagine how many individuals confessed that were innocent just to stop enduring the insurmountable pain is beyond anyone.

But, it cannot be emphasized enough, the judicial torture system of the medieval era was one that the citizens of those years respected, admired, and most importantly, adhered to- almost certainly preventing numerous serious crimes form occurring. Notes 1. Mirjan Damaska, “Review: The Death of Legal Torture,” The Yale Law Journal 87, no. 4 (1978): 861-862. 2. Edward H. Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, Volume 1 (New York: D. Appleton, 1886), 332. 3. Karen Farrington, Hamlyn History of Punishment and Torture: A Journey through the Darkside of Justice (New York: Sterling, 1996), 22. . Christopher J. Einolf, “The Fall and Rise of Torture: A Comparative and Historical Analysis. ” Sociological Theory 25, no. 2 (2007): 101-121. 5. John H. Langbein, “Torture and Plea Bargaining,” The University of Chicago Law Review 46, no. 1 (1978): 3. 6. Farrington, Hamlyn History, 22. 7. Farrington, Hamlyn History, 23. 8. Warren C. Hollister, “Royal Acts of Mutilation: The Case Against Henry I,” Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 10, no. 4 (1978): 331. 9. Farrington, Hamlyn History, 26. 10. Farrington, Hamlyn History, 27. 11. Farrington, Hamlyn History, 27. 2. Farrington, Hamlyn History, 28. 13. Stephen F. Teiser, “Having Once Died and Returned to Life: Representations of Hell in Medieval China,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 48, no. 2 (1988): 435. Bibliography Damaska, Mirjan. “Review: The Death of Legal Torture. ” The Yale Law Journal 87, no. 4 (1978): 860-884. Einolf, Christopher J. “The Fall and Rise of Torture: A Comparative and Historical Analysis. ” Sociological Theory 25, no. 2 (2007): 101-121. Farrington, Karen. Hamlyn History of Punishment and Torture: A Journey through the Dark Side of Justice. New York: Sterling, 1996.

Hollister, Warren C. “Royal Acts of Mutilation: The Case Against Henry I. ” Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned wit British Studies 10, no. 4 (1978): 330-340. Langbein, John H. “Torture and Plea Bargaining. ” The University of Chicago Law Review 46, no. 1 (1978): 3-22. Lecky, Edward H. History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, Volume 1. New York: D. Appleton, 1866. Teiser, Stephen F. “Having Once Died and Returned to Life: Representations of Hell in Medieval China. ” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 48, no. 2 (1988): 433-464.

The Doctrine of the Mean

The Doctrine of the Mean

The doctrine of the mean states that for someone to be a good person they must occupy the “golden mean,” meaning a person may become virtuous by acting between the extremes of excess and deficiency. For example during war, the two extremes would be for a soldier to be rash or cowardly, but being courageous is the accepted golden mean. According to Aristotle, virtue lies in between the two extremes, which are the vices, and thus a virtuous person is one who can find the mean that is relative to his or her situation: that is the mean changes depending on the circumstances surrounding each decision.

Using the previous example, a priest would never be expected to take up arms in battle, an act that would be considered cowardly in other situations. The priest, however, would not be viewed as a coward because of his beliefs and personal situation: for him the virtuous mean is to not take sides in conflict but instead to remain faithful in helping all people regardless in their position. The mean is a formula by which a person may act virtuously.

There is not one right choice for every person in every situation, but rather there is one virtuous action for every situation, which is relative to each person and the surrounding circumstances. The mean between the two vices is not an absolute average: rather it is flexible and can vary with each individual. I believe that the doctrine of the mean is true, because every situation can present choices that can be deemed virtuous or not. Difficultly comes in determining the virtuous action and acting upon it.

Finding the virtue takes practice and comes from learning through personal actions and habits and those of other people. Once we behave in a manner considered right, due to a good upbringing and a good constitution, being virtuous will follow. The doctrine of the mean is true, but how you apply it and act on it can pose difficulty. This difficultly is not necessarily a flaw of the doctrine, nor does it negate the doctrine instead I feel that it would make the doctrine more applicable because it accounts for individual and situational differences.

Every individual is unique in terms of his or her beliefs, education, background and upbringing making it unrealistic to have only one set of standards dictating what is right and wrong for every individual in every situation. The flexibility within the doctrine for deciding the appropriate mean makes the doctrine more helpful by making it more relevant to everyday life and changing circumstances. Aristotle presents a formula for how to become virtuous. Achieving goodness according to Aristotle is realizing what the virtuous action is in every situation and continually striving to obtain it.

I agree with this reflection because it implies a higher level of thought. To simply have one set of standards that one would use in every situation regardless of underlying circumstances is very easy. To be able to evaluate each situation as unique and consider the details before deciding on an appropriate course of action implies a higher commitment to truly wanting to act virtuous with respect to every situation. This in turn makes the person more virtuous because he or she is required to deeply analyze the problem at hand.

Initially we learn through habit. We then modify these habits to make them relevant to different situations, keeping the doctrine of the mean in mind. The doctrine of the mean is not always helpful when a decision needs to be made. Knowing what to do is completely different from actually doing it. In fact it could possible be argued that the doctrine of the mean causes the decision making to be more difficult, because sometimes doing the right thing is not always the easiest choice.

During times of war, soldiers know it is their duty to represent their country in battle but often times this involves leaving family and friends behind. The doctrine of the mean helps to determine the right course of action, but it says nothing about the easiest course of action. There are cases in which someone may act virtuously, even though their actions do not lie at the mean. If someone were drowning in the ocean, and you decided to jump in and save them, you are risking your life and acting irrationally to save someone else.

The person jumping into the water could have called 911, or told the lifeguard what was happening. However, in a particular situation, for example there is no time for any other course of action, jumping into the ocean is the right thing to do. While it may be considered an extreme choice it is not excessive because it has been modified to fit with the surrounding circumstances. Therefore, one can act virtuously even though their actions lie outside of the mean. This shows that in every situation the vices and virtues can change, and it is up to the person in the situation to make the just right choice.

Educational Trends in China and the United States: Proverbial Pendulum or Potential for Balance?

Educational Trends in China and the United States: Proverbial Pendulum or Potential for Balance?

Running head: EDUCATIONAL TRENDS IN CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES: Educational Trends in China and the United States: Proverbial Pendulum or Potential for Balance? Deidra D. Ray Concordia University Texas Austin Abstract Over the last two decades, educators, business leaders, and elected officials all agree that there are new skills that students must have to be successful in the 21st century. To meet the demands of economic competitiveness and educational equity, it should be no surprise that what students learn, as well as how they learn is changing.

What is surprising is the approach that two global powerhouses, China and the United States, are taking. This article outlines how the Chinese educational system is becoming more decentralized and learner-centered and how the United States is becoming more centralized and teacher-centered. In her article, Ms. Preus analyzes trends in each educational system and addresses implications for policy. The author begins the article by providing a comparison between the most recent reforms in each educational system.

In China, the current educational reform began in the late 1990’s. Not only was the curriculum guidelines reevaluated and published, one also observed a decentralization of elementary and secondary education, emphasis on a “quality-oriented” rather than a “test-oriented” system, and an increase in the amount of pre service and in-service education for teachers. In response to governmental policies, must importantly No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the United States appears to be on the opposite end of the continuum.

The author uses the following reforms: centralization of elementary and secondary education, a more test-oriented system, with greater emphasis on direct instruction, and a decrease in the amount of professional preparation for teachers to illustrate the differences. Ms. Preus uses information that she collected while attending meetings in China in 2005, as a professional education delegate, to analyze these two converse approaches. Educational Trends in China and the United States: Proverbial Pendulum or Potential for Balance? If students are to succeed in today’s complex conomy, they need to know more than just English, math, science and history. They also need a range of analytic and work place skills. In the past, it was not considered essential for every student to learn rigorous content. Many jobs were available for students with minimal academic skills. In today’s information age, jobs that once required only low levels of reading and mathematical skills now require high level skills. Schools that do not infuse 21st century skills into the traditional curriculum are not meeting these children’s expectations and needs.

For the article, Educational Trends in China and the United States: Proverbial Pendulum or Potential for Balance? ”, Betty Preus (2008) examined how two of the world’s proverbial powerhouses are reforming their educational systems so that their students are prepared to compete globally. In the article, the author mentions that China has reformed their curriculum (what they teach) and their methods (how they teach). Even though the author does not define “quality education”, it is suggested that they have created a curriculum that now teaches students in a 21st century context.

While reading this article, the impression was given that China’s emergence as a global economy (Preus, 2008, ¶ 1), is largely due to their shift from just teaching content to placing emphasis on analysis, critical thinking, and cooperative learning skills. China’s current success could be accredited to the realization that content under grids critical thinking, analysis, and innovation. To critically analyze a situation requires engagement with content and a framework within which to place the information. (Rotherham, 2008, ¶ 7) Since students now have a basic skills foundation, they are now prepared to apply what they know.

An integral component of China’s educational reform is the time and energy that has been allotted to professional development for their instructors. China has recognized the importance of providing teachers the methodologies that will assist them in instructing their students as to how to make connections between the content learned in the classroom and real world experiences. In the article the author is very subtle in pointing out her beliefs as to how the United States’ educational system is responsible for the United States loosing their competitive edge.

Ms. Preus mentions how the United States’ educational policies, especially No Child Left Behind, has resulted in a more test oriented system with more emphasis on content matter than critical thinking skills, problem solving, and innovation. (Preus, 2008, ¶ 5) However, the author fails to provide a hypothesis as to why our educational system has evoked a familiar pattern: pendulum swinging between an emphasis on process skills (analysis, critical thinking, and innovation) followed by a back-to-basics movement with emphasis on content.

It is believed that the author’s evaluation of the two education systems would have been better supported if reference was made to the landmark report A Nation at Risk. It was when this report was presented to the United States Department of Education and to the general public that it became quite apparent that it was necessary to reform the nation’s educational system. The report revealed international comparisons of student achievement in which on 19 academic tests, American students were never first and last seven times.

The report also revealed that some 23 million American adults are functionally illiterate by the simplest tests of everyday reading, writing, and comprehension. (National Commission of Excellence in Education [NCEE], 1983, p. 2) These among other findings led to the United States to centralize elementary and secondary education. During this time emphasis was placed on the content areas. Unfortunately, the United States still finds themselves in a dilemma. Concerns that the United States is losing its global competitive edge are now heightened by the nation’s performance on the most recent international tests.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) measure how well early adolescent students (eighth-graders) are fairing in their abilities to problem-solve in math and science. TIMSS found U. S. eighth-graders to be above average performers among participating nations and found substantial improvement in performance. But the PISA, designed to test students’ application of math and science to real-world scenarios, found U. S. students to be among the worst performers. Silva, 2008, ¶ 11) Even though American students may be illustrating mastery of instructional material, they are unable to carry over to the application of the material to real-world problems. The author acknowledges that a balance between basic and 21st century skills must exist in our current curriculum, and I concur. Currently, our schools have been haphazard about imparting these skills to our students. Most students obtain the necessary skills as a result of lucky encounters with great teachers, schools, or other influences rather than an intentional curriculum.

This article is quite an eye-opener. Even though it may be difficult to assess, it is imperative that our nation find a balance between core content and 21st century skills. We must align curriculum with the demands of college and career. Content must be taught in a 21st century context with the use of relevant and real word examples, applications, and settings to frame academic content for students. Additionally, students must be given the tools they need to stimulate an authentic work environment in order to achieve these skills at a higher level than is urrently expected of them as students. Regardless of post-secondary goals, all students need a solid base in math, reading, and applied skills to succeed in today’s economy. Not only is it of the utmost importance that 21st century skills be integrated within the traditional curriculum, but is of equal importance that American teachers be properly trained. First, they must be aware of 21st century demands. Building the resolve necessary for change is the first step toward fighting complacency and increasing understanding that a high school diploma is insufficient in today’s economy.

Secondly, American educators must be provided with quality professional development. We must equip teachers with the tools necessary to bridge the gap between basic skills and real world experiences. Instead of traveling from one extreme to the other, the United States educational system must find a balance. References National Commission of Excellence in Education (1983). A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (4). Retrieved from www. ed. gov/pubs/NatatRisk/risk. html Preus, B. (2008).

Educational Trends in China and the United States: Proverbial Pendulum or Potential for Balance?. Phi Delta Kappan, 89(7). Retrieved from www. pdkintl. org/kappan/k_v89/k0710pre. htm Rotherham, A. J. (2008). 21st-Century Skills are Not a New Education Trend but Could Be a Fad. U. S. News and World Report. Retrieved from www. usnews. com/articles/opinion/2008/12/15/21st-century-skills-are-not-a-new- Silva, E. (2008). Measuring Skills for the 21st Century . Education Sector. Retrieved from www. educatorsector. org