Putting Community Back into Education
Community and education. It's a foreign concept in today's education system. Community, or any sense of it has all but evaporated. Students are forced to compete against one another and the teachers and administrators, because of far off bureaucratic control, are almost powerless to change anything.
As Martin Rezny pointed out, our current education system is designed to both isolate and break down students.
At the most primitive level, it all but eliminates, what, in the real world, might be called collaboration or teamwork, by forcing students to take tests and complete assignments themselves. No outside resources, just you and your brain’s memory recall.
We're still trying to find one scenario in the real world where you would find yourself in that position.
You would think that placing a greater emphasis on teaching teamwork and cooperation skills to students and showing them great tools to assist them in their work would solve the issue. Indeed, it would make great strides in doing so if the problem with our education system wasn’t rooted at a deeper, more troubling level.
There are many who have already written at length about how harmful the ubiquitous competition within schools is to students. But it’s a real thing and in our minds one of the great problems of our current education system.
Students aren’t incentivized to help one another and collaborate because the system is designed so that some students will fail. Regardless. So then, as a natural reaction to that, students go into self-preservation mode (and who wouldn’t) to ensure that they are not one of those failures.
And so, some students succeed, some students fail. The wheel keeps on turning.
This is not to say that competition within schools should be eliminated but it should be kept in check. And, in our view, those with “boots on the ground” would be the best resources act as judge and jury in that context.
As we’ve stated before when the decisions about education and the control of the classroom become so far removed from the school and the local community the humanity in education gets taken away.
Students and teachers are now seen as faceless schools and districts to be managed and scrutinized. Curriculum, instead of being flexible and malleable, becomes rigid and uncompromising.
The overall goal then is to exceed a certain state or national standard at the expense of far too many students, rather than giving each student the best possible chance at success.
So, in summary, putting community back into education will:
- Allow students to cultivate and develop skills that they will absolutely need in the real world
- Change the way our students progress through their education
- Give all students a full chance at success - not just just some
Like this? Check out our post about the 5 Truths About Ed Tech That Need to Die.