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 Dear Student,

            Welcome back to school. I want to share something with you about my philosophy of education. I believe in “student centered” education. There are some things I believe are good for education and other things that are obstacles to education. Sometimes in my job, I am asked to do things and support things which I don’t necessarily believe are good for education.

            One thing I disagree with is to force people to do things. This is a problem already because in the United States, and most other countries, children are required to go to school. This is called “compulsory” education. Compulsory education is incompatible with truly student centered education. I believe education and learning come from within. You decide that you want to learn about something, and your education begins. A teacher is an expert, someone who can help you learn, only after you have made that decision.

            Another practice I am uncomfortable with is the excessive testing. I believe my number one “customer” is you, my student. Do you know how you did on the AZ Merit Test last year? A teacher’s first responsibility is to his or her students and their parents. This is what “student centered” education means to me. Most good teachers have their own ways of “testing” students’ progress with the material. This is called assessment. There are many ways to assess learning, testing is only one. Much of this testing is meant for someone else somewhere else, not for you.

            Look around at the society we are living in. Did you watch the “news”? Are we healthy? What about our environment? How is all this working out for us and the rest of life on the planet? Do we need to educate people to merely fit in to the existing society, the existing governments, the existing corporations, the existing transportation systems, the existing food production, the existing schools? Or, do we need to educate people who are able to think out of the existing box, who can invent better ways of doing things, who can find solutions to problems that have eluded us up to now. In short, people who are able to think for themselves. I want you to think for yourself.

            So, I hope that you will make the decision to learn. We need you! No, school is not perfect, there are many problems with the system. Yes, you may be asked to do things you don’t like. But, above all, I hope you come to value education, learn about the things you are interested in, and grow to your full potential as a human being.

Remember, school and education are not the same thing. I am confident I can speak for the other teachers when I tell you that you are number one. We are here for you, more than anything else.


Hope you have an excellent school year!

Sincerely, Mr. Ludwig

Here you will find information, documents and links for Mr. Ludwig's Biology and Advanced Biology classes at Monument Valley High School.