Let’s think for a minute about education. Not reactive education, but proactive education. Reports come and politicians panic. Our nation is at risk and the media panics. They all the say the same thing: How can we fix our nation’s broken education system!? Maybe it is because politics and media are reactionary businesses (yes, politics is a business) but am I missing something here? We are so caught up in reactive education that our pre-schoolers are now being assessed based on common standards! If this seems like a good idea to you, please tell me why?
I have a 3 (almost 4) year old daughter who loves pre-school. She loves building crafts and listening to books read aloud. She enjoys playing with her friends and field trips to see the fire house and pick pumpkins. She loves dress up and putting on shows for a 3 person audience. In fact, she just loves to learn.
The best part about her pre-school is that no one is testing her on this learning. Instead they are giving positive feedback and encouraging her to keep trying new things. To keep playing. Her teachers know what level she is at and challenge her with different opportunities.
Many parents feel the same way when their child is in pre-school or kindergarten. School is fun. It’s exciting with endless possibilities. There is this sense of enchantment.
This seems to go away by the time students are in 5th grade. Subsequently, we really start testing our students in 5th grade with standardized assessments. Teachers begin to worry about “test scores” instead of helping each of their children learn at a pace that works.
I don’t want this kind of learning environment for my daughter. I never thought about sending my kids to private school, but now the thought isn’t so far off. If that’s what it takes to get her into an environment that values inquiry, grit, and passion then why wouldn’t I want that for her…
I want my kids to be educated in a world that believes in their potential to do amazing and influential work. I want my kids to be educated in a world that says, “It’s ok to struggle, that means you need to work hard to overcome”. I want my kids to be educated in a world where teachers have time to give extra help, and have the freedom to change the curriculum or the day’s lesson plans based on her knowledge of the students.
I want my kids to be educated in a world that let’s them learn like they did in pre-school…with enchantment and wonder.
What kind of world do you want your kids educated in?