Why Education?

I believe the purpose of education is to facilitate children’s safe exploration of themselves and the world around them. As they are the future, children need to be given the tools to create that future as they wish it to be.

Children need to be allowed to instinctively use their individual powers and abilities to safely learn about themselves. This helps them, and us, to discover how they learn best.

In order to explore the world around them, and to create the future they will live in, children need to learn about the facts and they need to be taught and shown that there are no ideas we should be afraid to consider- only bad actions.

I believe the best purpose of education is to help children be able to learn and think and decide for themselves. One of the best ways educators can do this is by fostering a love of learning in our children. A child that loves to learn will learn.

I believe, as did Einstein, that imagination is more important than knowledge; but I also strongly believe that knowledge creates the most useful basis and springboard for the imagination. Teachers should encourage students to be curious observers, experimenters and self-evaluators. Teachers can best do this through example.

I believe the ability to learn new skills is more important than the specific skills themselves. A useful attitude is the most important tool a person can have. A successful attitude can allow a child to be imaginative and to acquire the knowledge and skills they need.

In order to allow children to use their natural abilities we should provide many pathways for them to learn. Providing few alternate ways to learn insures that students who can’t learn in the narrow, accepted way will fail over and over. Multiple alternatives to learn allow students to fail at some ways and succeed at others. As they learn which methods of learning work for them they will use those methods more often. This will increase their success and increase their enjoyment of the learning process. Also, it will make them less afraid to try those other ways of learning that haven’t worked so well for them. In this way they can also gain some ability in those more difficult areas. There are many ways we all live our lives, why should we pretend there is only one way to learn?

If schools exist to create valuable citizens of a democracy then they cannot be factories for churning out good little minions who don’t ask questions, who always believe what they’re told, who can’t think for themselves and who don’t rock the boat. In a democracy citizens must be seekers of knowledge. This means schools can’t be afraid of less orthodox ways of thinking or of undeniable facts that contradict our societal myths.

I am a firm believer in a well-rounded education. No one can predict where the future will lead a child. Children should be taught their responsibility to the future, but they should also be taught their responsibility to the present. Freedom without a sense of responsibility (towards others and towards oneself) creates immaturity and selfishness. Freedom with responsibility creates maturity.

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