Thursday, March 28, 2013
squandering educational resources...
It seems that education's answer to failing education is more education or more admistrative control of education, when instead, we might be asking more questions about how to engage our most obvious educational resources to offer greater learning opportunities to kids.
Is that a long convoluted sentence or what?
Let's work our way patiently through. Educators think that if kids aren't getting it, then we need to teach our teachers better, require them to get even more advanced degrees, etc., etc, and supervise and control them more thoroughly.
In the meantime, the wisdom and the capacity to engage children in learning are already available in our communities, in each and every community, and are being continuously and completely squandered and ignored.
Yesterday (thanks again, Keith) I shared a link about a farm school program in Kansas Farming theme saves small Kansas school. The Walton, Kansas Farm School illustrates this important point. Within every community in the US there are educational resources left untouched that have the greatest power to touch kids. In each and every community in America there are activities of real life taking place that have the capacity to more deeply engage children in learning, and there are folks with character and deep commitment to kids who are left at the sidelines of the educational process, who might reasonably be called and assisted to teach.
Another example is illustrated by the new book by Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski, Leaving to Learn, which shows that when you get kids doing real things in their own communities, learning from highly skilled mentors within their communities, they become more deeply engaged in learning. The interesting thing is that mentors also benefit when their educational value within the community is recognized and engaged.
These two simple examples offer the foundation for a revolution in American education. They are not educationally detached, but are instead the fulfillment of the dream held by progressive educators since the time of Comenius. We must stop squandering our most useful educational resources... the child's natural interest in learning, and the community's capacity to teach and share from real life.
Thanks, Greg, for the video on .b mindfulness embedded above.
Make, fix and create...