Friday, September 7, 2012

If you're not part of the solution...

Sharing an Alfie Kohn article on Facebook, thinking about public/mainstream schools, especially in these USA, varieties of "homeschooling," human development, our attitudes towards children, and was reminded of this;

Earlier this summer I had an out-of-state data collector come to our door, asking me to participate in a survey that helps them assess general population's needs and wants for early education and childcare. I wasn't able to easily answer many of the multiple choice "which best describes" type questions, because we've had some privilege and, equally significant, made it a goal and a point to create a life where many didn't apply to us. This lead to some to some tangent conversation.

She was a retired school teacher, yet said if she had young children now she would not send them to public (or most other mainstream) schools, and that she sincerely hoped her grandbabies would not be sent to them either. Among her chief concerns were all-day kindergarten, the amounts of homework given even to young children, class sizes/overworked teachers, inequities between school-zones within the same communities and/or schools within the same districts, and the children's physical safety.

Standing by our public/mainstream schooling system just because you are a part of the system is, in my opinion, similar to defending a criminal church member or church organization, just because you are a member of that church. If anything, that should give you more reason to want to set things right, to create a respectable, (and in the case of schools) evidence based system, that actually nurtures young people's minds and fosters a love of learning.

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