Winston Churchill is thought to have said, I love learning. But I don’t always like being taught.
I have never let schooling interfere with my education. Mark Twain.
Boy says to friend, “I taught my dog to talk.” Friend, “Come on! Dogs can’t talk. Show me.” Boy, “I didn’t say he could talk. I only said I taught him.”
Today’s schools aren’t good enough for the modern era notwithstanding the dedication of teachers and principals. They work hard but with a model developed 120 years ago. Almost everyone trying to improve schools struggles to get a little more mileage from the conventional system. They succeed to an extent but the present model is reaching an upper limit. It’s like trying to make a typewriter into a word processor. Schools aren’t good enough in many areas: too many students are bored and disengaged; citizenship skills like critical thinking are poorly developed; 20th century skills, community participation and personal health and talents are not valued or measured. Modern principles of learning are not applied. Too much talent goes wasted. Today’s schools are a poor fit for the internet age.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We will share ideas on this site to:
- Clarify the shortcomings of today’s schools. This won’t rely on international comparisons and test scores. This will be the Old Schools in a New Era page.
- Describe the new era and its implications for schools including how students learn and the societal forces impacting schools. This will be the New Era page.
- Provide a new conceptualization of schooling for this new era.
I want to see schools (even the word “school” gets in the way of rethinking) that are places of action, where the doors swing both ways tapping the goldmine of community resources, where schools are a beehive of active students in a variety of ventures and expression, and where teachers and administrators draw upon their creativity in creating schooling fitting our changing democracy.