New Jen's Horde

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Stupid Learning

I was talking with a homeschooling mom today and this article came up. It's one of my favorites but I don't think I've blogged it, so I thought I'd put it here for folks to read. I really like his take on things, not totally unschoolish, but more child-led than many approaches.

Quote: Educators should have and meet objectives. But the objectives must translate to the every-day life of the student. We don't educate our children to pass tests; we educate them so they can perform in and enjoy the real world.

Right now our education system is bassackwards. We teach sub skills and concepts and search for an application. But we should be doing just the opposite: looking for what our kids want and need to live their lives, and teach the sub skills and concepts that support that. If it's not used outside of school, then it shouldn't be on the list of objectives.

As an educator myself I see the many flaws in our educational system. There are gaps in our educational system and our means of assessment are often times lackluster at best. Although this quote is a seemingly perfect answer, I only wish we could attain as perfect a method of implementing it! Aside from the fact that many of the people that determine what our children learn are not educators but politicians, they do not realize that "stupid is as stupid does"!
That must be frustrating, having so much of what you teach dictated to you by non-educators.

Implementing reality-driven learning is much easier in a home setting, if only because the ratio of "teacher" to "students" is much lower. We are able to be more flexible with our curriculum because of that.

Even without the flexibility of lower ratio, it would be possible to purge a larger classroom of what the author calls "stupid learning" if one were in control of the curriculum choices. But, that's the basic problem of the public schools, government money=government control. It's also played out in traditional private schools, just with different purse strings.

So, you're right, those who've gone to school to learn to educate, and who have the drive to do so often have little say over what their students study. That stinks. I applaud your efforts!
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