On the 27th of each month, my 4.0 Leader School colleagues and I are continuing project 27, an experience that started during 4.0 Essentials. The rules of project 27 are straightforward: Go. Learn. Share. Go somewhere, learn something from someone, and share it with others.
You can read my contribution below, and visit the blogs of my leader school colleagues on their blogs (see the blogroll in right sidebar), or check in with the whole project when we cross-publish our entries on the 27th of each month on our project 27 blog: http://essentialsproject27.blogspot.com/
On my flight home from Los Angeles, I sat next to a middle aged man named Roz who was flying to New Orleans to run the sound for the Blink-182 show at VOODOO Fest this weekend.
Roz grew up on a US military base in Germany, and attended an American school there. We had a lovely conversation about education: what he received, what kids now are receiving, and how it might be improved. Here are some of Roz’s quotes from our conversation:
“Educational reform can’t just be about education. It’s got to be about rethinking everything. Like, for example, when a kid doesn’t fit into a particular box, he becomes a failure, or gets diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and gets medicated.”
“I don’t even have kids, but already thinking about home schooling them because the pressure to conform to a narrow definition of success is just ridiculous.”
“[Education reform] extends into the political arena. What’s the first thing to get cut? Education. It communicates a lack of will and messed up priorities.”
“I recently read and article about Finland’s education system in the Smithsonian Magazine. They’ve got great success without going crazy with standardized tests. We should be able to do some of that here. Instead, we’re prioritizing conformity, compliance and one way of thinking a linear way.”
“Even my wife, who is a pre-school teacher, has experienced a over-structured approach to education. I mean, her kids are in preschool and they have all of their day structured.”
“When I was in school, if you have an interest in something, they’d streer you toward that. Even in the uber-structured environment of the US Military. One teacher bugged me about track & field, another about computers. Today I feel like that doesn’t happen. Either it’s not valued, or it’s not possible due to a lack of political will and funding.”
“Back in those days, it was all about physical fitness, too. Today, that’s all gone. That’s why it can’t just be about education. We’ve got an obesity problem that involves our schools. Solutions are not limited to academics.”