Friday, March 26, 2010

Education -- Paradox or paradigm?

We Americans are a stubborn bunch - we can know what would be good for us and needs action and yet still don't do much, if anything. We would haggle down to the last nickel for the price and features of a new car and yet allow issues on the education of our young people be handed off to "experts" and politicians who spend our money and make decisions without really knowing what it's like to be overwhelmed in the classroom trying to help kids invest in -- and prepare for -- the future, which for them must now be problematical at best. As former teachers, we have heard for years "do more with less." Now it's "do more with nothing!"

In these years since the Nobel Prize in 2005, we have travelled around the world at the invitation of many countries alarmed by these issues - poor test score performance, inadequate preparation for employment, apathy and lack of interest by students, and the likelihood that jobs and manufacturing will continue to be outsourced elsewhere. Our society, culture and civilization have reached a crossroads and we are making too many wrong turns.

These efforts to speak out are reinforced by our combined 85 years in public education and what we have learned by study, experience and observation. Our primary goal now is to re-examine the current focus of all things educational on annual achievement testing. Individuality, creativity and originality are stifled by the "tunnel vision" of teaching to the test particularly as it is unclear whether the information learned is so valuable and/or even retained in useful ways afterward. In what should be an Age of Innovation, we are coming up short with the needed talent and inventiveness which could restore our nation to the forefront of world power and productivity.

So, keep tuned - we have lots to say...

1 comment:

  1. I like your general idea and observation, but the real background is that the parents have to be focused on just getting bread on the table. Ideally, there will be more spare time to enrich the kids later. But Darwin will intervene, as the devopment of the new young person passes through stages of growth, and missing the window for language development, fo example, means a much larger teaching effort will be required for a given performance level.