On Reform and Revolution: Moving Education Forward

in education •  24 days ago

I'm seeing lots of articles lately on the changing face of work in this world. Of course everyone on Steemit knows this. As millennials and z's press forward with their dark agenda of curbing rampant consumerism while pushing slow food, lowsumerism, etc., the number of corporate and service jobs declines further while they simultaneously realize that the day to day grind sucks. And that's not even mentioning existential dread of a world facing environmental and political destruction.

Of course the face of work has changed before. Long ago we left the world of industrial jobs. As we moved to the age of information, how much did education really change? They put computers in the classroom, but did that really address the pressing needs of companies developing new technologies to solve problems we didn't even know we would have? I venture to say not much.

My classroom looked exactly the same, and that was long ago.
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Now we face an even more profound shift where young people entering adulthood are faced with the enormous task of looking to see what the world needs while looking within to figure out what would be fulfilling while looking around to see who might be a cooperative component. I don't think our current education system is well designed for any of these tasks. Just going to get a job is just no longer a viable option for most people, particularly one that will pay off your tens of thousands in student loans.

Children must do what they're told all day long. Sit still. Be quiet. We know what's best for you. This is what you need to know. How could these kids possibly even have a clue what they're passionate about? In the fiercely competitive environment of the classroom, how are they being taught to cooperate, much less collaborate?

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In 2005 I got together with some people to help start a Sudbury type school in Asheville. One of the most common questions was some variation on either why don't you work within the schools to change them or why don't you start a charter school instead so it will be free? Charter laws are different in each state, but in NC, charter schools must test and meet certain standards. They actually don't have to follow standard curriculum, but they all choose to. Seriously. I had no interest in subjecting kids to even a tiny piece of that bullshit. The time for itty bitty incremental change was the 1950s. We are so far past that. In my mind working within the system was an exercise in futility.

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Reform is no longer an option. This is a time for revolution in education. Kids are not prepared for this world. At all. No one wants to be a cog in some corporate machine. Hell, people don't even want to go in crazy debt for their own business. People want to find a way to express themselves and bring something positive to the world, to share their knowledge, to bless others' hearts and spirits, to make the physical world healthier and happier. When a person finds a thing that makes their heart sing, nothing can stop them from learning everything they need to know to accomplish that goal.

No clue what he's doing here, but I know his tremendous creativity is a blessing to this world
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So, how does that look? What does a child need from a school to get to that place by 18? They need freedom to discover their passions. They need space to tune in to their spirit. They need to be around other passionate adults and children. They need to learn to collaborate, and that means learning how to get through disagreements and solve conflicts. It means learning how to determine what's fair without intervention. They need us to believe in them and their abilities and their basic goodness. They need us to get the hell out of their grill most of the time. They need freedom to figure out for themselves when they've had enough - enough sugar, screen time, cold, whatever. We can't even imagine the reality of their adulthood, but I suspect VR will be everywhere all the time. People will need to be able to know when to turn it off. We have to trust them to figure it out now while they don't have bills or kids.

And look how they turn out
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If we want them to grow up to be independent, we must grant them independence now.

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I agree with this 100% - the education system back then was based on the industrial age ; for factory workers, extremely repetitive tasks, so the education system was never designed to test critical thinking or the use of the knowledge, it was only meant to test memory .
And they are told that they need this type of education to be successful, which is not true at all ; some of the most famous people are drop outs .

Personally i think children should be asked what they would like to learn about, what drives them ; i have actually come up with a social experiment that involves a lot of very serious questions - its not finished and im trying to come up with 100 questions .. im only sitting at 42 ; they are supposed to be ranked from easy to hard as well, although i have not even gotten that far quite yet .