I recently presented to a group in Virginia about the need for educators to look at relevance in their teachings and subjects. We can do away with handwriting and spelling. We can save time by eradicating the pointless subjects and archaic skills and replace them with skills we know our students will need in their future. There was one participant that got upset with me. She was upset by my comparison of no longer needing a horse and buggy or needing the skill of reading and writing in hieroglyphics to the need to still use handwriting or learning to spell. There are just some things of which we can let go.
At first I felt badly about this participant being upset. But then I realized that more people should get upset, but not at the reality that things need to change. Get upset with the people who are unwilling to adapt and change for the betterment of their students. I had a teacher the other day tell me that he still lectures and has traditional homework assignments “because that’s the way I teach”. Never once did he say anything about the way his students learn. Never entered his mind!
Education is reaching extinction and we must evolve or die. This extinction level event in public education is directly due to people who can’t see the need to give up on old fashioned teaching styles and teaching unnecessary skills. I would put public education on the endangered list and predict that education must evolve and do it quickly or we will reach extinction by 2027.
As any endangered group, there has been writing on the walls of public education for some time. Let’s look at an example of a public school day. A child has to wake up, get dressed and go to a class where someone is going to talk at them for 40 minutes then give them an individual assignment (worksheets or essays or individual reports) and expect them to turn the assignment in the next day only to repeat the entire process over again. For sake of argument, let’s add into this example a “collaboration” assignment where the students work in groups of two on a report. Now think about the predator version of education, Cyber School. A student can do exactly the same thing the public education day gave him, including that collaboration experience. But, the child can do it at their pace, in their home, on vacation, while traveling the world and so forth and so on.
So ask yourself this question. What does your public school offer in each separate classroom on a daily basis that they cannot get from a cyber school experience? And principals, don’t fool yourself by thinking about this question with only your best teachers in mind. If you have 20 classrooms in your school, ask that question about each classroom separately. Then decide how many students you could potentially lose to a Cyber School Program based on the classes basically being the same. Your answers will point towards endangered and possibly the extinction of public education.
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