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Written by Christine Martin
Times are changing...no doubt. Technology increase, information accessibility, economy transformation all point to this change.
This being said, there is a burning question: Is education keeping up with the pace?
Has there been a parallel evolution in the way schools educate our children? Is increased standardized testing the answer? What about rampant medication of children with attention difficulties?
Modern entrepreneur and author, Seth Godin claims:
We need school to produce something different, and the only way for that to
happen is for us to ask new questions and make new demands on every element
of the educational system we’ve built. Whenever teachers, administrators, or
board members respond with an answer that refers to a world before the rules
changed, they must stop and start their answer again.
The rules have changed.
- Standardization is not better. Kids are uniquely skilled. Differentiation is key in bringing their skills to life.
- Meeting the status quo is not best. Meeting your potential is.
- There isn’t just one answer (in the back of the book). There are many.
- It isn’t just academic vs. non-academic. Children perform using varied smarts or intelligences.
- Working together is not cheating. It’s collaborating.
Sir Ken Robinson illustrates these changes and the role of education in modern times in this captivating talk on Changing Education Paradigms.
What can I do?
- Cater to your child’s intelligences. Does he enjoy drawing? Have him draw a comic strip on the chapter read at school. Is she athletic? Encourage her to create an obstacle course in the backyard using five different materials in five different ways.
- Let go of the desk + chair. Schools often demand students to be seated to complete work. We’re not all made to work that way. Have them sit on a bouncy exercise ball or write standing if they are more comfortable. Many work spaces now accommodate the needs of employees to increase performance.
- Consider alternative methods of schooling. Home-schooling, online programs (check out California Academy of Arts & Sciences) and various after-school programs may be education forums that your child resonate with more than conventional schools.
Education needs a face-lift. Not only at school, but home as well. The sooner we can let go of the idea of more of the same and embrace a real change (revolution), the more we service the future, our children.