Questions Of Life And Learning

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our education systems in the US. Learning. Schools. Standardized Testing. Inequalities. Priorities.

I wonder if my children are getting the kind of education they need to be happy, successful adults who contribute their skills (whatever they may be) to society. Will they be encouraged to explore their world? Will their interests in the arts and science be stifled because they are forced to learn how to fill in a bubble on a test form to answer multiple choice questions? Will they challenge themselves to find the answers to questions they have about the world rather than just waiting to be fed the ‘answers’? What more can I do to ensure I raise lifelong learners who challenge themselves and the status quo and pursue their interests with unabashed passion? If I were to decide to homeschool (for instance), would I be capable of doing it well or for long?

What have our ‘No Child Left Behind’ efforts done to stifle, rather than improve learning and innovation? Does our standardized education system put our children at a disadvantage in a global world? What has the lack of focus on science, engineering, technology and the arts done/what is it doing to our economy?

Basically, I have a lot of questions. I can’t pretend I have the answers, but I’ll continue to explore the options and ideas.  I’ll continue to support my children’s education (in the broader sense, not the bubble filling sense) as best I can, for as long as I can. We’ll see where it takes us.

Here are a few Ted Talks from some great minds to get you thinking – if you so choose:

4 thoughts on “Questions Of Life And Learning

  1. You ask great questions and have legitimate concerns. I like your selection of TED talks too.

    Don’t fret – there are educators out there who have your back and are working to make a difference.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  2. Your kids are getting a good education. They get a variety of teaching because they have different personalities in their different teachers. Will it make them happy? Nope, what you and Todd have given them takes care of that! Is it of good quality? – yes, basically it is. You have capable, bright children, so they can take advantage of what they learn and are exposed to. They have bright, loving parents who expose them to life and knowledge. Sadly, not all children have this advantage. Those are the ones who our education system fails.

    The teachers went into teaching because they wanted to educate children and are caring individuals. They have a difficult task and a huge responsibility to society. They work extremely hard and put in long hours to make this happen. The deadbeats of the group are the exception.

    Children’s curiosity comes from home and is instilled many years before the child’s formal education begins. Your kids already have this: they got it from you!

    My concern is not the schools but the level of hard work and responsibility that society currently expects from her citizens. Many parents don’t allow their children to experience difficulty of any kind thus blocking their growth. Learning comes from conquering the difficult. Too many of our bright students turn away from science and mathematics because they have never learned the thrill of conquering the difficult.

  3. Personally, I am worried that schools might forget how important it is for children to play and to laugh, that to work in teams and have a sense of belonging might be more important than reaching certain goals, that they are taught information without teaching them curiosity. That they are taught discipline, but only to adhere to another’s rules.

    • Add to that academic success over critical social skill development. Sense of ‘accomplishment’ or value based only on those academics and not on other areas deemed less important by our current society- like the arts. The perception of financial security is more important than following less lucrative (but ultimately more satisfying) dreams.

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