Welcome to the forums, FreedSpirits. If you want to introduce yourself with an intro thread, go for it...
Meanwhile, I like what you wrote, though I'm going to argue, as I do in general, that change can come through means other than force.
(06-09-2014 01:21 PM)FreedSpirits Wrote: school has killed all creativity. the best form of education comes through self-discovery, not through a forced process that would make people lose all interest in learning. people naturally have the desire to learn and do not need to be forced to do so.
in the current school system where learning is forced, the desire to learn is lost. if people are given the free will to learn on their own or from parents, the knowledge would come to them much easier than it would in school. learning your native language is an example. its likely that your parents taught you how to read and write. you heard them speak as you were young and you heard others in the world around you. there was no extra stress that came along with that and what happened? you mastered your language effortlessly. it comes naturally.
if people were given the freedom to learn naturally, it is quite possible that everything that you tried to learn would come that easily. there are so many resources that can further your education. from my experience, school isnt one of them.
school simply glorifies whoever conforms to the system the best.
Exactly! Fortunately, so many people are now seeing this, and the disconnect with the way "20th-century" schools work. And, thanks to recent technology, connectivity, and economic changes, a lot of people are starting to really believe things need
to change, for all kinds of reasons.
(06-09-2014 01:21 PM)FreedSpirits Wrote: sadly, i dont think anything would change with simple peaceful protests. if the school system were to be overhauled completely, it would have to be through force.
anytime i see people try to make suggestions that could even possibly improve my school, they are simply brushed off as ignorant teens that dont appreciate the opportunities in school that the previous generations apparently never had.
That's a common pattern, both in schools and families. So, how might teens not
be brushed off like that?
I think that force, and even talk of using force, adds to that "rebellious teens who don't appreciate things" stereotype. I can't think of a single example of force changing anything in education (except making things worse), and the history of such talk on these forums has accomplished nothing in terms of change.
(Plus, I think that force in general is not a good solution in most cases. If we want to take force out of education, using force doesn't sound like the best way to do it.)
So, is there a "third option" beyond just dealing with it, or rebelling?
I think there is.
In general, there are approaches like identifying the underlying interests of counterparties, and working to brainstorm "win-win-win" solutions that benefit everyone.
More specifically, regarding education:
It turns out that those of us who dislike "factory model schools" have rather large numbers of adult allies who do understand. Historically, there have been a few, like John Taylor Gatto, John Holt, and David Gray, who wrote and spoke about questioning school-usual... and a few models of school-alternatives, like Montessori, based on doing things differently.
But more recently, a lot
more people have started speaking up about the exact same criticisms of factory-model schools that you outlined, @FreedSpirit.
A short timeline of conversations about change
(based on things I've noticed)
Ken Robinson gave his famous first TED talk in 2006 about how Schools Kill Creativity, which became quite popular.
In 2009, a venture capital firm called Union Square Ventures arranged a conversation between a mix of "leading thinkers, educators, and entrepreneurs" (including Ken Robinson) that came to a number of overlapping conclusions about the future of learning: see the summarized list of takeaways at Hacking Education (continued)
or explore the links for a full transcript.
In 2010, Ken Robinson gave a second TED talk, Bring on the learning revolution!
, and an edited, illustrated RSA Animate talk called Changing Education Paradigms
[11m] that many see as a key short summary of the issues in education.
Meanwhile, in 2010, I partnered with a friend to launch an ed-tech startup company, based on the idea of developing web-based personal learning portals. We ended up taking on a project to develop a Student Information System for a newly-launching charter school. That's a long story, and we took on too big of a project for two people... but I learned quite a lot in the process.
One thing I realized is that a lot of educational innovation is actually very similar to the traditional "factory-model" of school than Ken Robinson (and others) have described and most of those on School Survival experience: age-graded, specific-subject classrooms, fixed daily schedules, report cards based on calculated assignments and tests, and a focus on getting students into college (where the next step in education is supposed to occur.)
As 2011 played out, that collaboration ended, and I went on an exhaustive search to figure out answers for what I could do next. I kept finding more and more people who saw the same kinds of problems I saw, both with factory-model K-12 education, and with college.
By mid-2012, I started finally connecting with people who were also questioning school-as-usual, and I continued to find more of them. Since then, I've had a lot of conversations with various people who do "get it," including educators and parents.
Until recently, though, it's been very
difficult to bridge the gap between those positive conversations and the relative darkness and despair that has long persisted on School Survival.
It's very hard to facilitate dialogue with allies who want to help, and who actually see teens as having valid perspectives, when the teens themselves are so caught up in the roadblocks within their own situations. It's even harder when those who want to help are also (as teachers in some cases) caught up in earning a salary fulfilling their factory-model job obligations.
Over the past few months, that's changed a lot. Lately, a number of us have had Hangouts (video conferences) that are showing the kind of dialogue and steps toward launching alternatives I've long wanted to see.
The key is to make the most of this potential.
Solutions come in three broad categories:
(1) Find a way to change how your school works (hard, but this may be possible in some cases, with the right external allies and with people in the school open to change. It's more common than it seems, especially in 2014, but it's still a long shot in most schools.)
(2) Find a way to get your family onboard with alternatives. This includes homeschooling/unschooling/connected learning, finding alternative models of schools, and even collaborating on founding a new school alternative in your location.
(Some of us are also working on a model that provides remote coaching/mentoring/guidance/feedback that parents would see as genuine learning, but do it in a totally learner-centric way, based on learner interests and goals.)
(3) Make the most of what you can learn, despite school. This means using your time well, learning on your own, discovering your interests, and learning more about how learning works best. The summer tends to provide an especially good opportunity for this.
I started Summer of Connected Learning
to help pull together some of these conversations happening in different places.
For example, I linked this thread
there, and that's generated some conversation. Feel free to jump in there if you're on G+ (I could also quote some more followups from here there.)