Sunday, March 17, 2013

Schools Can't Do it Alone - Chapters 11-15

"Archaic mental models are holding us back when we can least afford delay.  But, in my experience, the problems presented by these subconscious notions are exponentially exacerbated by the presence of a debilitating mental disease that I call 'nostesia': fifth percent nostalgia (homesickness), fifty percent amnesia (loss of memory)."  I think we all feel like we had a decent enough education that prepared us for where we are today.  However, "what if" we had a better education?  One that taught us to create, design, problem solve, collaborate, and communicate in different ways.  I had a fellow principal tell me not too long ago that his daughter was a straight "A" student all the way through college.  He stated that his daughter has a successful career.  Interestingly enough, he then stated that he wondered how much more successful his daughter would be if she had been exposed to an education that focused on meaningful and engaging work based on her interests and needs.

Vollmer goes on to say that, "...adults have claimed that the schools of their youth were superior in every way and that 'these kids today' are academically deficient."  He later says that, "They forget that most of what they know they learned after they got out of school."  Isn't that the truth?  I am not sure if I have learned more since I got out of school, but I do know that what I was exposed to in school now has meaning to my career and hobbies.  If we are going to do school differently, we are going to have to include the entire community.

"You cannot touch a school without touching the culture of the surrounding town (p. 98)."

"To unfold the full potential of every child, we must do more than change our schools.  We must change America one community at a time."

These two statements above begin to lead us to the Vollmer's method for changing America's schools.  When it comes to public education, "...everyone is a stakeholder.  They pay taxes."  Therefore, we must educate those in our community about our schools.  

My next post will focus on "The Great Conversation."
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