Education: Reform or Transform?


You’re not going to get into an argument when you say “our education system could do better.” For sure, reformers are trying their best and efforts are nearly everywhere. Most of the prevailing public school reform efforts tend to focus around longer days, narrower curriculum with more testing (think ‘test prep’ and route memorization) and holding teachers accountable based on the results of those tests.

Who are those efforts serving? Do the kids benefit?

What if the model’s outdated and efforts to make it better only make things worse? If that’s the case, why would we charge ahead with this same model?

Free education for the masses helped transition independent farmers into wage earners, working for someone else.
We charge ahead because it still serves the needs of those who run the system. We want graduates (in debt) to become cogs in the wheel, and certainly not question the status quo.

Fortunately, there are people working for something else. Again, most people agree we ought to do better, but there are alternatives to the neoliberal/business model of education reform. It’s not about reform, but rather transforming the model. It’s about understanding kids aren’t widgets and subjects shouldn’t be silos. From teacher strikes to kids walking out of school to Sir Ken Robinson hits to ‘Educate the Whole Child’ movement to place-based education, millions see the current model doesn’t serve the needs of children, nor the needs of the 21st century. Millions are creating something different. What are you doing?

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