Our educational system is archaic and in many, many ways going backwards not forwards. Public school is a lofty goal where students regardless of socioeconomic class, race, gender or religion have access to an education. Today we are moving more towards privatization of education, where owners of schools will reap profits, educators will be paid less, and students will have to pay for an education. This takes the inequality we have now and drastically tips the scale against equality in America. I believe Villages can transform education.
“Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.” — Jess Lair
Our schools need to be reinvented for our students now trying to prepare for an unknown future. I no longer see schools with classrooms, desks and bells, but rather hubs of innovation, movement and energy…I see Villages. In educational Villages students will have the opportunity to explore possibilities and participate in learning. Every six weeks students will begin an apprenticeship within the Village or students can try their hand at a new project. The success of the Village will rely on partnerships between universities, the business community, and Village educators. Local and global companies will open mini shops within the Village where students have an opportunity to learn from experts. These experiences will be complimented by teacher led labs that will make work relevant to lab instruction. There will also be student led businesses for apprenticeships that will be open to the community in which they live. Opportunities will include craftsmanship, the arts, technology, healthcare, media and more. Days in the Village will be inspiring…where the hand meets the mind and the humanities merge with STEM. Students need real world experience, inspiring transfers of knowledge, and the opportunity to discover what they are good at and how they are wired.
“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” — Stacia Tauscher
With the many opportunities for experimental learning and projects, it makes sense that this work should be credentialed. The opportunity to build credentials in K-12 would have more meaning than grades and SAT scores. Students in the future will expect more out of their education. They want an education that will prove results in finding meaningful work for them in the future. Today students do exorbitant amounts of rote busy work, hours of extracurricular activities, and worries over SAT/ACT scores, plus a four year degree with high debt and no job. With the blockchain gaining traction, it seems reasonable for students to begin building a portfolio of credentials. The Village is the perfect educational experience for early adoption of the Blockchain. Credentialed work along with a creative, yearly EASY Profile gives institutes of higher learning and the business community an in depth look at students in a way that the SAT or ACT and grade point average could never do. It also eliminates bias and inequities regarding students. Education success occurs when all students have an equal opportunity to grow and brand themselves without subjective reviews from humans they retreat to their personal opinion often distorted by personal beliefs.
Teaching is not about answering questions but about raising questions — opening doors for them in places that they could not imagine.” — Yawar Baig
The Village education provides for self education, self exploration, and self discovery. Learning requires meaningful experiences that are stored in the brain. Unforgettable moments when the brain is intrigued and everything clicks. Learning does require listening, but it also requires doing. There is an element of freedom in learning.
“Let the child be the scriptwriter, the director and the actor in his own play.” -Magda Gerber
Open minds are responsive to inspiring opportunities and to enlightening discussion. We can no longer expect students to retreat to a desk for twelve years. It is not working educationally or emotionally. We are currently raising the most anxious generation in history.
“If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.” — Alfie Kohn
We can no longer resort to extreme punishments, lifetime labels, and an almost conditional attitude towards our youth. In life there are always gray areas, with people too. We must understand and emphasize with where our students start and where they come from. Stress is a deterrent to learning.
Students who are loved at home, come to school to learn, and students who aren’t, come to school to be loved. — Nicholas A. Ferroni
To feel a sense of belonging begets learning and success. Although The Village aspires for student credentials, the Village also becomes a safe space for students only beginning to open their wings.
“Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be.”- Rita F. Pierson
We can change education in America. We can revolutionize the way we see learning, the way we perceive students, and the definition of success. Success is not test scores, it is mastery. Learning should not demand obedience, but inspire creativity and imagination. People are not robots, but generators of the unknown, the unseen, the unheard. People are trailblazers that open the door to tomorrow. Let us build Villages that nurture and embolden this human spirit.
Originally published at medium.com