Why do we have public schools? Before the Pervasive growth and ubiquity of the world wide web, it was easy to answer that question because a school’s objectives were clear and seldom contested: 1) instruct, 2) socialize and 3) provide custodial care. Now, two of those three don’t apply, which means big trouble. Allow me to address them .
Providing access to knowledge is one of three historical Justifications for colleges. Basically, parents had to send their kids to schools since the knowledge was stored there, in textbooks and at the minds of educators. But, today’s young people swim in a sea of information, 24/7. Of course, kids need teachers to help them learn how to read and master numbers, however, beyond this, a fresh approach is required. Young men and women have to learn to deal with the flood of information that surrounds them. They need guidance separating wheat from chaff. They want help formulating queries, and they will need to develop the habit of seeking answers, not regurgitating them. They ought to be going to schools where they’re expected and encouraged to find, construct and collaborate. Instead, the majority of them endure that which I call’regurgitation education’ in institutions that anticipate them to memorize the periodic table, the names of 50 state capitals and the major rivers of the United States. All these”What? Questions must be replaced by”Why?” and “How?” lines of inquiry. After all, the answers to”What” questions like”What is the longest river in the world?” Are on everybody’s tech apparatus. Schools must teach skepticism and promote curiosity.
Socialization is the 2nd historic justification for Sending kids to schools. Public college was boys and girls expanded their worlds outside household and where young people generally learned about each other. But socialization too was flipped on its head by tech. Today there is a Program for just about everything, including ways to communicate with friends and strangers. Today’s kids do not require school for socialization in the typical way of interacting with their peers, since there are literally hundreds of online places such as that. ‘Socialization’ takes on new meanings when kids routinely text with’buddies they’ve never met’ across the continent or an ocean. Again, schools need to adapt to the new reality and help young men and women understand two fundamental messages: digital is forever; and also that new buddy who claims to be your age and sex may be a sick stalker or even worse. Faculties must harness technology to assist young men and women create knowledge out of the flood of information which now surrounds them.
Since technology also isolates, schools Will Need to exploit its powers for Group tasks and activities. They should also create technology-free times offering opportunities for older fashioned (and crucial ) face-to-face interaction.
Only healthcare , the third reason we send kids to schools, remains unchanged. Parents still want places to send their children during the work day to keep them safe. Does the larger society, that has since rejected child labour and does not want children on the roads. Nevertheless, if schools provide only custodial care and a marginal instruction that denies technology’s reach and power, young folks –many of whom battle overwhelming life challenges–walk away, as at least 6,000 do each school day, to get an yearly dropout total of over 1 million.
Tragically, those who stay in marginal schools might find Themselves at risk, because the young energy that needs to be devoted to meaningful learning is released, somewhere. Often it comes out from bullying, cyberbullying and other kinds of child abuse by children. Marginal education that values compliance, sorting and test scores above all else normally produces hazardous schools. Smart bored kids may–and frequently do–move after vulnerable children, occasionally with frightening results. Bullying is prevalent. Boys who are bullied beyond their breaking point might attempt to hurt other people, while women are very likely to try to hurt themselves.
Unfortunately, those in control of public education haven’t been paying Attention to these seismic changes. Instead they are warring over teacher competence, test scores, and merit pay and marriage rules, issues that are fundamentally immaterial to the world children reside in.
And the longer this conflict rages and the more we postpone addressing the Actual issues, the larger the damage to children and, ultimately, our social structure. The medication of (phony and superficial)”School Reform” Is preventing us from addressing the real problem: we deliver our children to schools That are inappropriate for the 21st Century. That is Faced head on–and solved.