Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SomeSchools

Some schools relentlessly teach and test one or more of the following things:

  • * Mathematical prowess
  • * The usage and conventions of language
  • * Elements and processes of science
  • * Versions and implications of history
  • Analysis and restoration of broken stuff (from machines to relationships)
  • Communicating effectively (across media, across environments)
  • Identifying and resolving problems (of all kinds)
  • The absolute necessity of perpetual learning
  • Working effectively as a team member
  • The fundamentals of stewardship
  • The importance of service
  • A wonderment of the planet/universe
  • The power of empathy and compassion
  • The richness (and relevance) the arts bring to the human experience
  • Discernment skills (regarding data/motives/intentions)
  • An appreciation of our integrated nature (body/mind/spirit)
  • The ability to feed oneself (even if the supermarket shelves are empty)
  • Modesty in victory, dignity in defeat
  • The value of striving and effort (even when it results in failure)
Most schools spend a disproportionate amount of time teaching and testing the top four items in the list above (the ones with asterisks).  Why?  Sometimes because those four things are deemed useful elements of cognition.  Almost always because state and federal policies require such teaching and testing.  Too often, because those are the easiest things to teach and test.    

VERY few schools purposefully teach the items in the list that have no asterisk.  Why?  Although we would agree that all are powerful knowledge and skills for successful living, those elements are quite difficult to teach, and even more difficult to measure.  Know of a great test for grading one's commitment to serving others???  

However, some schools have decided to teach those things, quite diligently and quite deliberately (like this one - Guthrie CSD).

They're OUR children.  Let's own them fully, and raise them well.

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