"School" is Evolving

It has been said that Power is Knowledge.....while that may have been true in the past, today the USE of KNOWLEDGE is POWER!

Unfortunately, the process of “schooling” , at times is still quantified and valued by how much acquired knowledge learners are able to to retain, reproduce and sometimes reframe that knowledge when tested.

Our world has changed and educating our kiddos should also change. We are no longer in the industrial age needing a “factory” design for learning. Yes, we still need to provide the basic, core materials, yet, at the same time recognize our world doesn’t require us to have perfect handwriting, multiply in our head, memorize endless facts or regurgitate information that is often forgotten after a “test”.

We need environments where children are taught to be resourceful, to share ideas and thoughts, to feel encouraged, who understand that mistakes are part of the pathway towards understanding and who receive a sense of pride in self-organized learning and collaboration.

So often young learners are turned off to “school” because it is a place always telling them what they don’t know rather than a place that looks at what they do know, develop personalized next steps and show growth over time while also gaining a toolkit of skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, having empathy, collaborating and contributing to our world.

We want students to learn to use the resources around them. We want them to read something or see something they are interested in and follow-up on it. We want them to have an idea and then get on the phone and call people they can talk to about it, or pick up a book and read more about it, or sit down and write about it. How do we teach that?

Tests are still dictating what we as a society hold valuable in our young people. Our addiction to testing is blinding us to what we believe in our hearts are the important lessons our children should learn. With our focus on the end results, too many of us forget how much the process of learning influences how our kiddos take in knowledge and use it. Too many of us forget how important intrinsic motivation and desire are to learning. So much of our entire approach to education cheats kiddos out of the chance to become lifelong learners and apply skills and knowledge towards innovation and solutions.

I'm not suggesting we throw out everything schools do now or everything that can be learned within the confines of what "school" is today. I'm suggesting that we look more deeply at what we define as learning . We need to be honest, try different things and reflect on our experiences..

Learning is about learning how to think....and Knowing WHAT to do When WE DON'T know the answer.