Yesterday, it snowed. I was supposed to go to an event–Choose2Matter Live, hosted at East Greenwich High School. I was excited, because the event is right up our alley–Genius Hour for two days straight resulting in things that really matter and continue into–real life. Because guess what–school is–and should be–real life.
This year’s been all about themes that affect the world. We’ve talked about real world needs, and we’ve seen teens making a difference on the world stage. If you’re just reading a book and regurgitating information, guess what–you’re not making a change. Sure, we need to learn the fundamentals so we can apply them to stuff that matters. That’s the whole goal here. So, the next thing we’ll study is education throughout the world.
What’s school for? Seth Godin asks this in his TEDxYouth talk.
Have schools, in fact, killed creativity? World-renown author, speaker and expert Sir Ken Robinson asks this question. Since he’s been knighted by the Queen, we should probably listen. If you enjoyed Sir Ken, here’s a bonus–a whiteboard anamation saying we must change the way we think about education.
If the media and society is so up in arms about education in the US, we need to dig deeper, asking ourselves the questions
- Is education so bad in the US? After all, we do educate everyone. Even though our “scores” might not match other countries, are they valid comparisons? Are we testing all our students? Are they? Are the tests equivalent? Maybe so, but never believe the media.
- Where can we improve and how should we do it? How should schools look in this nation?
- Should we have a national curriculum so that every student in the US gets the same chance? Or should local schools decide what to teach independently?
How’s the rest of the world doing? Really?
- Which countries value education the most?
- Do other countries offer free education for all citizens?
- How do other countries rank against us?
The Big Questions:
- How does the fact you can get an answer to a question about China from a student in China, in real time, change the way we educate?
- You wanted to get rid of the textbooks? And replace them with what?
- Information is available about everything at any time. What skills do we teach to process this?
- How will you use all this in your real life and change the world?
These are the questions we’ll be asking. Any one of them is big enough. All of them together is the beginning of a reflection about what education means to us, and how schools can make that happen.