Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Would Like to Propose a Radical Change

I am constantly complaining about school being more of the same. High school classes teach what students should have learned in junior high while they teach what should have been learned even earlier. Even colleges/universities are in on the act, not only teaching the same things that should have been learned in high school, but requiring students that don't meet their "standards" to take remedial classes so that they can then take classes that are the same as the ones they took in high school. (Is this the best our colleges/universities can do? If so, how sad.)

I would like to propose a (radical?) change in our ed system. I don't think the concepts are new, not even sure that the way I put it together hasn't been done before. If it has, good on them. I hope it worked.

  • Students would focus on tool and background knowledge acquisition. Emphasis would be placed on logical thinking skills, problem solving skills, reading, writing. They would have art, music, health and physical activities integrated into their curriculum and not as a stand alone class. 
  • Students would choose strands of learning they wished to pursue. The students would continue to build skills and acquire background knowledge through their learning. Emphasis would be on creating. Students would be expected to conference with teachers about what they are learning and how they are showing what they are learning. Students would also be required to teach lessons on what they learn regularly to others (students, teachers, community members) during workshop days.
  •  Students would spend the first two years exploring the fields they are interested in pursuing. They would work closely with educators in those fields and emphasis again would be on creation and sharing of knowledge. 
  • Students would spend the last two years apprenticing. Two years would allow them time to try out several different occupations and get experience and feedback from both the master workers they apprentice under as well as educators in the field that would observe them. The last semester (more or less depending on what was needed) would be spent by students creating a personal narrative (through tools of their choosing) that explains their journey through their educational career. The emphasis would be on how they plan to use what they have learned after they graduate. Degrees would be awarded in the fields that students apprenticed successfully in. 
Obviously this is a very generic outline. What do you think? 

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