Monday, May 30, 2011

Bury your head in the sand


One change I would like to see schools embrace is a commitment to educating tomorrow’s citizens with the tools those citizens will need during their lifetimes. Every private school is essentially a business. The clients are parents of students, who will shop elsewhere if they are not offered a competitive, 21st century education for their children. This lack of strategic thinking is due to the industrial age focus of many schools.

Unfortunately, the feelings of frustration reach throughout many schools, and already several teachers, staff, and students have expressed their intent to go elsewhere in subsequent years. Albert Einstein is known to have said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That is industrial education. We have different needs, a different era, different jobs, a different playing field, but we are preparing students over and over again using an outdated model. There are zero efforts to work on this change in most schools.

Instead of adhering to an outdated paradigm, schools could consider how they could contribute to societal change, how they could attract and keep families, and how they could influence faculty, staff, and students. Although evidence of paradigm shifts are currently seen elsewhere in society, organized K-12 education is still holding onto the outdated model. Those private schools that shift paradigms will attract paying customers (parents) and will be successful in the long term. Those that hid their heads in the sand will lose economically.
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