Sep 24 2009
Journal #4: Blog Response
“If one third of the customers you serve walk out on you in the middle of your serving them, shouldn’t something far more radical be under consideration? Like major examination and restructuring of what school offers students? Including examining the presumption that school’s agenda is more important than students’ agendas? Including allowing students to truly work at their own pace and through the lens of their interests? Including allowing students to do physical work and hands-on projects?”
Though this blog is heavily slanted against the institution of public education, I support and agree with a few of her progressive criticisms. She’s able to criticize most cynically because of the fact that she admittedly as checked out of public education reform. An advocate of homeschooling, she is able to sit back and point her finger without lifting a finger to help improve the institution she is ripping on. Her claims still stand, though.
Her point about making students more important than the status quo is a good one. “I continue to doubt that the political will exists to make kids more important than the status quo,” she says, and I would agree with her from what I’ve experienced. Essentially, I take this to mean that the deeper priorities of education are being overlooked in the modern institution and that students are being challenged at superficial levels. I take this to be a result of the hand of the federal government choking student-centered learning with the use of reductive national standards and a rigid bureaucracy. Education needs to be made more important so as to draw teachers who are better qualified to take learning and inspiration to a deeper level. Local districts and administrations should be free to experiment with progressive practices and pedagogies. The institution could use a jump-start of creativity. The homeschooler’s critique is a fair one which I agree with.