Saturday, March 24, 2012

Questions...A Work in Progress

Questions are all I've got.

What can we do to change education into an institution that honors the drive to learn that is within each child?
What can we do to help kids understand their own identities as learners?
Are we teaching kids the right things? How can we find out?
What can go wrong when adults pick children's topics of study for them?
Can kids learn what they find to be truly irrelevant?
Instead of “making” kids care about what we're teaching, why don't we find out what they care about and go from there?
What is the role of trust in the classroom? What is the role of respect?
Why is "passion" such a difficult word when applied to children?
How can we take the learning path children have started at birth and make it joyful and engaging for the rest of their lives?
Can we change how people regard school?
Could the consequences of allowing children to follow their own interests in school be worse than what we have now?
Is it possible for teachers to take on a completely different role at school?
Why do the adults in schools have so much power over children?
What do they do with their power?
Do kids benefit by having no power over the direction of their education?
Why do we allow our children to go to school to get bossed around, disrespected, and disregarded?
What would happen if we turned the tables?
What are the rights of children?
How would school change if children had their rights respected?
How can we nurture the next generation of innovators while teaching kids to comply?
How can we educate for responsibility when all we teach kids is compliance?
How many similarities can we find between school and prison?

What are your questions? What's bugging you? 


  1. Question: should all education be done based on what the individual wants to learn? If so, what quality controls (standards) should be in place? I'm thinking of doctors, airline pilots, plumbers, etc. since those - and many other professions and vocations - are subject to certain expectations from society at large. I hate to fly, but knowing that the pilot got to choose her own way of learning the controls would make me even more tense.

    Another: why you think the rights (your term) of the individual child outweigh the interests (mine) of the many and society at large?

    And an observation: your terminology presupposes certain facts that may or may not be present in all learning situations. For example, your "Why do we allow our children to go to school to get bossed around, disrespected, and disregarded?" is a leading question. It's almost impossible to answer without being wrong (like "when did you stop beating your dog?")

  2. @Nancy,
    Answer 1: Those who follow the path of doctor, pilot, plumber choose that path. It is not imposed upon them. When they choose that path, "the individual" is "choosing" what they want to learn. What they learn is decided by those in the profession they have chosen, not society.

    Answer 2: What? How is honoring a child's interests out of alignment with what a society wants?

    Observation: My interpretation is that many, certainly not all, do allow children to go to school to get bossed, disrespected, disregarded. Lisa is asking why they do that. I've seen this time and time again in my years in the system. Few children or parents are empowered to stand up to it.