Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An Idea for Secondary Education

(Disclaimer: I'm not a professional educator.  I have no certifications in teaching children.  I do not create curriculum for children or youth.)

A modest proposal:

Focus elementary school years on the competencies of reading, writing, and math.I'm thinking about up through age12.

Then take the years from 12-18 and focus on these kinds of skills and experiences:
  • Reading critically from diverse sources of information.
  • Examine history in order to learn themes and patterns and lessons.  Especially study biographies.
  • Solving problems worth solving. Focus on it, get creative, stay after it. Use the scientific method and common engineering
  • Leading peers without authority, and the skills of influencing through communication and example.
  • Work on projects -- planning, executing, managing different aspects. 
  • Basics of finances and economics. Personal/family money management, and business use of money.
  • Hard work.
  • Continual learning, by self-directed and via mentors.
Remember, the word "educate" comes from Latin and literally means "to draw out."  This experience-driven approach requires whole communities of genuine adults who don't abdicate responsibilities to future generations. 

I suspect a secondary education curriculum like this would create a much larger population of good thinking, effective citizens than our current systems do. 

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

Kevin N said...

More Socratic discussion and less lecture. This was one of my weak areas as a high school teacher.

Foreign language learning that actually leads to being able to converse in a foreign language.