Friday, January 1, 2016

Atlantic Monthly article on Education; Did they get it right?

Parents Living With Teens Article Review by Linda Bav

Can Schools Be Fixed?

Atlantic Monthly, 12/30/15


Did they get it right?

No Daniel Greenbergs, no Sir Ken Robinsons, No Sugata Mitras, no John Holts or Ivan Illiches. No one advocating for creating all kinds of different schools for different kinds of kids, where kids even as young as 6 can choose what, when, and how to learn. No one promoting Cindy Gaddis' ideas of an alternate time-frame for Right-Brained learners to learn academic subjects. No one insisting that we need to focus more on the arts and on practical skills like growing organic foods, cooking, sewing, appliance repair, making solar panels to generate free electricity, etc. No one insisting that kids are not standard, and that we need to both help kids pursue their own goals, AND teach them the practical things that can help lift the poorest families out of poverty - which comes back to knowing how to grow food, forage for wild, edible plants, produce free electricity, repair broken things, etc. ....

Actually, I did see one quote that mentioned the importance of teaching good communications skills, empathy, social and emotional skills and creativity, etc. That's a good start. But if we want our kids to excel in reading and mathematics, we need to stop forcing those things on kids who are not ready or interested yet, and start giving them opportunities to do all the life-activities that really engage them, that will lead them to want to read and perform mathematical calculations for their own purposes! And then, reading and math (and science) will not be "subjects" that we feel compelled to test or measure kids in, because those subjects are, after all, just a means to an end! But the public schools are still focused on making those skills - and high scores on tests in those skills - the end in itself.

--Linda Bav 
Editorial Committee, Living With Teens

Do you think they got it right? 
Comment here...let's talk about it.

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