Monday, April 29, 2019

let the kids win.

This morning I'm reading an interesting article on the charter school movement. Most new things start with good intentions, but it makes a difference what the starting point is, and who's directing it. Put businessmen and politicians in charge of education, and they adopt a business model of education reform. They may want to do good, but their vision is blurred by who they are and the methods that they are accustomed to use. So it is with charters. Use statistics to drive the reform, carefully measuring profit and loss, and the kids lose.

I have a different view of education reform. Put the hands to work, and allow the children to do real things of benefit to themselves, their families and communities. Place less emphasis on measurable "achievement" and more on the children's character that's expressed in the real things they do. Make learning concrete rather than abstract so that children's inclination to get involved rather than sit passive is utilized in creating school atmospheres of engagement.

Businessmen and politicians scheme big. Children need us to think small. Small schools, small classes, doing real things. That's the truly big idea of the day. Whether it becomes the big idea for tomorrow is in your hands.

Make, fix and create. Encourage others to grow and learn likewise.

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