If you are reading this, or if you have been following this thread of posts, chances are you get exactly how broken the current public education model is. Understand that when I ask- who will fix the broken system.. I never meant.. fix the public school system. I meant, literally- how we educate our children. I don’t know that there is any fixing the good ship titanic of education. It is far too entrenched, and as noted, painting a house whose foundation is rotted and sinking. No one is looking at the basement/ foundation- and praising the pretty new colours on the walls.
My reason for writing this series– is to create the dialogue, about the importance of including the creative/ non-linear, human-spiritual–ecological aspects and connections. Without that.. the rest of educational reform is just window dressing and fresh paint. Here’s a question that hit me this morning: if school is soooo great and wonderful and the system has created such an amazing learning environment… why aren’t kids thrilled to be there, happy, healthy, and fully engaged- even over-coming their external life circumstances in the drive and hunger to learn and be part of it? Instead, it is legally mandated- which doesn’t bode well for the truth behind the paint….
I think the closest model, that I have seen, is the waldorf system of education (Rudlph Steiners work)– where kids are taught in accordance with their natural development, both through the course of the day, and their life-development. And the natural learning dispositions are incorporated into the approach of learning. Knitting, develops the math function in the brain, for example. They teach music, at an early age, understanding both its inherent value, AND that it is a language– and so it should be taught as the language centers are developing. Want to know the best age to teach physics? It’s actually around age 5!!! Not age 16. At age 5, children are naturally exploring the laws of how things work. Dropping things, exploring the very nature of how their world works. That is developmental and neurological. And yet we do not teach them when they are actually LOOKING for this information.
The other aspect touched on– the spiritual-ecological connection. I hesitate to use the term spiritual, as it is loaded with too much connotation. also, as I have experienced even in many of the forums here- it is too easy to impose the concept ” christian” onto/ over the word spiritual.
This is very similar in the way mainstream medicine has co-opted the term “wellness practitioner” to now mean doctor. When the term was initially installed into dialogue, I think it was meant to refer to someone NOT a doctor- who was equally qualified to address health issues. IN fact, more qualified- as they were more trained to treat/work for WELLNESS, not disease. But anyway- the term spiritual is a loaded term, but I don’t know of any other that is more fitting or applicable.
Education, needs to do to learning, what naturopathic or holistic health care does to medicine. The new model would be looking at core personal holistic values that also promote healthy communities: ie, examples: really celebrating diversity, honouring the planet and environment and treating it as a member of the community– maybe there is a reason, socially/anthropologically speaking, that the ancients deified and animated everything. When we think of it as “one of us”.. or at least as an individual, we respond to it differently.
Anyway- maybe what needs to happen, is to start from scratch, looking at both the mainstream model, and the needs our children have.. include the kids in the process.. and start with a fresh drawing board and see what is created… what would it look like? I have no idea… I have many ideas.. but no idea if any of those ideas would be what others would come up with:)
What do our kids NEED, in a millennium that we, as adults, barely comprehend, as our kids are experiencing every day? Is the question : how do we keep our kids safe? OR, how do we teach our kids to keep themselves safe? Can we keep doing more and more FOR them, and expect them to ever work it out themselves? IS there a standardised test for that????
Thanks for sharing in the discussion and adding to the dialogue