Our children taught me what was wrong with the education system.
Through grade five, they were sponges, curious and excited to learn about everything that came their way. After school, we hit the playground or flopped our legs over the couch and read library books and comic books or . . . cooked or built or whatever struck our fancies.
As the years went by, our boys became less engaged in the traditional teaching model. By this point, they knew what they loved to do -- theater, sports, cooking, music, etc. -- and were getting precious little of it during school hours. Homework was done shoddily or ignored. They just couldn't see the point.
And I couldn't promise them that if they did well in school and got into a good college, they'd get a great job and be set for life. They could see that wasn't necessarily true anymore. They sensed they needed something more -- a different approach to education to prepare for our changing world.
Everything in it was changing, and so fast. Except our model for public education.
Then I discovered a video by Sir Ken Robinson, PhD -- an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation.
While watching, I wanted to shout, "Yes! That's exactly how I feel. Indeed, standardized testing for dollars is one of the worst things to happen to education! Of course, collaboration produces amazing results."
If you have a minute (or eleven), watch Sir Ken Robinson share his ideas in this entertaining video:
And if you appreciate what Sir Ken Robinson has to say as much as I do, check out his Ted talk here (about 20 minutes) . . .
My favorite of his points is that we need to help children discover what they love, what they're passionate about and let them grow from there. It was true for me, as I knew I wanted to be a writer by the time I was ten. Everything else fed into that. Finding one's passion and a love for literacy are the two things I try to impart to children during every school visit.
What do you think?