RETHINKING EDUCATION

09Mar15

Taking apart the idea of school as we know it and getting back to the roots of children and learning is a pervasive thought which I am constantly researching and evaluating. There is no shortage of pedagogies out there but there seems to be a lack of application of relevant methodologies for out of the box creative thinkers.

Our public educational system as we all know it is one of the most broken institutions which is entirely counterintuitive to its intended purpose. Many parents have children and without thought register their children at the local school because currently that is the expected norm. Historically, compulsory schooling at an institution was not the norm and I am suggesting we rethink everything we currently know about traditional brick and mortar schools.

Even for those who can get through the top down, rote style didactic learning and achieve high marks in a subject, it doesn’t mean that this passive recipient style of providing information is even close to optimal. “Teaching to the test” creates an atmosphere of outcome-based performance within a high stakes, anxiety producing context that is the antithesis of meaningful learning, and is destroying our youth. If we are to prepare our children for the ever evolving, unknown future then antiquated sub par methods of information dissemination will need to change.

Standards-based education is ruining the way educators teach and children learn. Education should not be about teaching to the next level in education and vocation and yet, that is exactly what our current school system is designed to do. Our goal should be to foster a love of learning for learning sake. Learning is not something that we should force onto our children to ensure they go to college and get a good job. True learning is intrinsically motivated and the reward is knowledge.

Filling in bubbles as a yardstick of achievement is a poor measure of knowledge acquisition. As parents and educators we should support independence and foster divergent thinking which is essential for out of the box thinkers. We need to inspire children to explore their world, follow their interests, think for themselves, ponder ideas, question everything, create and produce.

Self-directed learning is a necessary component of education and yet there is little emphasis on this in both public and private schools. Here and there one will hear about a pilot program that addresses the power of autodidactic learning but it is infrequently assimilated as a pedagogical alternative to traditional education. Our teachers are stuck within the confines of a system that no longer serves our children.

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