Monday, November 9, 2009

Thoughts on Education

"What we emphasize in education is generally what we get. When we emphasize achievement above all else, then we are likely to produce achievement above all else. High achievement is desirable. But at what cost? When education becomes focused on production — namely, evidence of demonstrable achievement — then we have lost what it mean s to be educated. Teaching and learning are not just about achievement or quality-assured products. They are about care, compassion, love, hope, joy, passion, grace, relationship, and more. They are about people and how we nurture and are nurtured on our ­learning journeys." observed Colin Gibbs at a recent educators forum.

While I understand that students, parents and teachers must be accountable for children's learning I worry about what education looks like today. There is much discussion about increasing the rigor of academics in our local schools. So much is expected of children and families. Young children are being held to standards that are rigorous and in many cases developmentally inappropriate. What is going to happen to these children if by the 5th grade they are unhappy in their education and not feeling competent in their abilities or confident in their teachers. I wonder if the pendulum will swing back in the other direction perhaps alleviating some of this pressure.

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