Friday, July 8, 2011

The Children are our Future

The world is changing more quickly than ever, so are the needs of students and the expectations of parents, higher learning institutions, and employers. How do we meet the instructional and educational goals that will best suit the future?  We are educating students for jobs that do not yet exist.  It will be the imagination of these students that will create the future.

In a practical way we can switch the school schedule to a year round program. Allowing for less time where students forget what they’ve learned and less time having to review, thereby allowing more time for discovering and understanding new concepts.

In an academic way, w should allow students a voice in their education.  Of course they need to learn the basics but they also need to find their passion and be allowed time to pursue it.  Instead of separating schools into age restricted groups, let's form groups that have mutual interests. This would close up gaps between levels and perhaps improve student performance, If there is a plan that carries through the whole school it can be a framework that can be used to evaluate, set goals, and be clear about where a student stands in his or her education.

In a social way, we should implement a school wide program that helps children at all levels change the world. If this is a priority within each class it will carry over to parents and the general population.  Curriculum can be written with practical, social, intellectual, personal, and spiritual goals. We need to impress upon the students that they are caretakers of themselves, the environment, and humanity and that we are globally connected to all living things on the planet. We should provide an education that encourages open hearts, open minds, good judgment, helping hands, and adventurous spirits.

Before Christmas I was in my car, my nephew had just been born. I was listening to “Do you hear what I hear?” The song got to the part that says. A child sleeping through the night, he will bring us goodness and light.

I had an epiphany. It was like I understood the true meaning of every child. When Jesus, or anyone who has positively changed the world, was born, he had choices, temptations, limits, experiences, disappointments, triumphs and hopes. What made him turn out the way he did? (Okay being the son of God may have had a special influence). But what if we looked at each child as if he or she had the power to change the world, to discover something new, to perform a miracle? How do we raise children who fulfill what may be that potential?

Isn’t that what “Follow the child” is about? I love the idea of developing students who will change the world. I believe we do that in a very disjointed way. If we are able to pull together a program that allows each child to fulfill his potential, then we can turn the world into an amazing and hopeful place.

So we need to look at what it takes for a person to be successful. The most successful people have been able to get their message to the public in a clear, inspiring way.  A program that emphasizes communication skills would be essential. Communication can be spoken, written, expressed in terms of art, or music. Communication is not only expression of your point of view, but also understanding of different points of view, and of giving appropriate feedback when calld for. In a world where communication is instantaneous, being an effective communicator becomes essential. We already teach reading, writing, speaking to a group, and allow for expression in each separate class, but let us look at appropriate and effective ways to actively teach communication, interaction and understanding throughout the school program.

Now that I have reread all that I have written, I think what I would like to see most is a more fluent school program across the board. Every class has teachers that were trained in different programs, in order to be effective, Schools can take advantage of the best in each program and create a new voice and by doing so create students who fulfill their potential and change the world.

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