Since I taught in a high school classroom, I have felt that something was inherently wrong with the way we teach. But I still came home, eleven years ago to homeschool, and tried to recreate all I knew–all any of us know–the only way to “do school”.
But what if a method, so ingrained that the suggestion of something different sounds like heresy, is a bad way? That is, I feel, precisely the case with our modern education.
But as I have studied, prayed and researched about education lately, I am so grateful to come upon the readings of authorities like Roger Schank. He confirmed everything.
We guard our sacred institution with all that is in us, disregarding the fact that the same subjects we teach today, and the way we teach them, were decided upon by a group of professors at Harvard in 1892, interested in educating the next group of professors (mainstream society didn’t attend college at that time), not necessarily concerned with equipping people for real life.
But isn’t education supposed to be about equipping our children for life?
There is so much I want to say on this topic that I’m literally not able to write the post I want because I am bubbling over. This is the third post I’ve started, and still, I’m going to leave you with some of Schank’s own observations about “why everything you think about school is wrong”.
We are slowly gaining the confidence to do what we have believed and observed all along about education, discipleship, and real learning. (I feel a series coming on.)
I would love, love, love your input in the comment section after reading the articles below!
“It is not easy to question something that everyone takes for granted. It is especially not easy when the very source of all our concerns in education can be easily traced to this one decision: to organize school around academic subjects. How else might school be organized? There is an easy answer to this: organize school around thought processes. In 1892, when the American high school was designed, we didn’t know much about thought processes. Now we do. It is time to re-think school.” What Cognitive Science Tells Us About What We Really Need to Learn
“No change in education will ever happen in the US until the testing mentality is done away with. No average high functioning adult could pass them so why make kids do it? This makes no sense. What also makes no sense is the idea that math and science are important subjects. You can live a happy life without ever having taken a physics course or knowing what a logarithm is.
On the other hand, being able to reason on the basis of evidence actually is important. Thinking rationally and logically is important. Knowing how to function in a world that includes new technology and all kinds of health issues is important. Knowing how things work and being able to fix them and perhaps design them is important.
Let’s get serious. We don’t need more math and science. We need more people who can think. We need to teach job skills, people skills, and reasoning skills. And we need to make education exciting and interesting. We need performance tests not competence tests.” Wrong Problem, Wrong Solution
“Stop making lists of what one must know and start putting students into situations where they can learn from experience while attempting to accomplish goals that they set out for themselves, just as people did before there were schools. Education has always been the same: learning from experience with the help from wiser mentors. School has screwed that all up and it is time to go back to basics.” Why Do We Still Have Schools