During the search for SOS* schools, the unfolding social and political drama of public education has been sounding an alarm to all that cannot be ignored… no matter if we unschool, homeschool, no school or old school. No matter where we are in the national or international landscape there is a crucial and dynamic debate unfolding that has effect on each iteration of “school” and our overall society. And..our overall society has profound influence on the structure of school.
My research project interview questions begin with what I feel is the most important question we need to be asking ourselves and each other.
1. What is school for?
In the process of talking and thinking about this question the origin and history of public schools in the US and other places can be examined.
— Compare and contrast.
“Our current educational system was created in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was designed to meet the needs of the industrial economy. Public schools were modeled after the factories of the industrial revolution and their product was a workforce of skilled laborers who then went to work in those same factories (with the exception of those who could afford and get into college). That was the goal then. Despite all we know now, the model for our schools hasn’t changed much. Actually, the goals touted by one side of the educational reform debate, appear to be similar to those of a factory: to churn out a standardized product for its customers.”-Shannon Pucket
And..by the way..who does all the knowledge belong to?
Or… where does knowledge belong?
In my travels this past summer I met dedicated and passionate teachers, parents and students who are working within a system that consistently frustrates and demands challenge and debate. I also met courageous independents who have stepped away from the public fray yet have an influence on overall educative practice because they use theoretical frameworks, research, scientific methods and practice in motion, to further develop our knowledge of human cognitive development. Yes…I met some pioneers.
As courageous and imaginative thinkers, the situation we are in begs for our bravery. Okay you brave learners… start thinking and imagining school that guides and supports us in all of our diversity and unique perspectives.
This SOS project continues from my desk as thoughts and learnings get processed and organized for now but there are more investigations and travels in future.
Info on author of this article here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21886773/Julian%20Vasquez%20Heilig%20Vita.pdf
*(In Search of Schools That Can Change the World Project)
Please share your thoughts. Comments are looked forward to.