Rethinking the Dialogue about Rethinking Education

When I talk about rethinking learning I mean something personal. I mean thinking about what takes place in the head of a student. Rethinking education isn’t only an argument over public vs private vs charter schools. It isn’t only an argument over teacher’s tenure. It isn’t only an argument about standardized testing.

When you listen to people talking about education it is as if these are the only issues that effect a student’s learning. Yes, these are important discussions, but what all of these arguments come down to is a student, like me, and like many of you, in class not being stimulated, and not learning. We can bicker all day about why public schools or charter schools are failing, but the argument never gets to the base of the issue. Rethinking learning isn’t as simple as handing over kids schooling to a charter company. Nor is it as simple as having higher standards for students on standardized tests or ending all teachers tenure. (I personally believe these may hurt learning. . . ) None of these “solutions” hits the root of why students aren’t learning.

Okay so maybe you’ll say to me “You bash everyone else’s ideas, so where are your own?”. But to that I say 1. Read the rest of my blog. 2. I don’t have all the answers! And lastly 3. There is no overarching solution because all students are different. People are engaged by different things, people learn in different ways, and respond to experiences differently. Therefore any solution anyone proposes has to be a more personal way of learning.

Class size, teacher’s benefits, public schools vs privatization (charters), school budgets, these are all important issues. In having these debates we can’t get away from the goals of education. We can’t forget that each policy or decision that goes into schooling has a consequence and a consequence that is connected to every other aspect of education. Learning should be the focus of every aspect of education that is rethought. But, I think by focusing on learning, teacher’s, policy makers, and anyone else playing a part in making learning more personal, will reap the benefits.

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