When my son was in public school, we would get notes from the teacher because he could not complete a series of simple math problems in 5 minutes. Yet he scored better than most of his classmates on higher order math. We were called to a teacher conference because he didn’t “assume the listening pose” when a teacher was lecturing. The teacher had to admit that he was listening since he knew the answers when he was called upon.
In my experience*, our school system is set up to mold each child into a generic fact spewing machine that does what it is told. It is not what I want for my children, and I believe it does all of us a disservice. It is a backward looking system.
My educational goal is to help students discover on their own. I am not the “sage on the stage,” nor do I want to be. I’d much rather be working alongside the students. My answer to the question, “Can I….?” is “Let’s find out.”
I teach classes that at first glance look like art classes…but they’re not. I teach creative/critical thinking classes disguised as art classes. When I design and teach a class, I don’t teach art, I teach resilience. I teach grit. I give students the ability to thrive in a future world we can’t even imagine right now.
How? By giving students enough information to get started and then get out of their way. I support them as they explore new possibilities and, if necessary, give them not “the right answer,” but “an answer” and then encourage them to find their own answers.
This article has some interesting ideas on the future of education. I don’t agree with everything, but I will be researching these ideas, even the ones I don’t agree with, on a deeper level as my educational philosophy continues to evolve.
* I realize this is controversial and not everyone feels this way, it is merely my observation based on my experiences with our local school system. This school system regularly scores high in the state and in the country as one of the best.