Public Education: Start Again

If you could start from zero, what would public education look like?


Many have realized the inefficiencies and inequities of what we know today as Public Education. Some have suggested different methods, some new tools, and some different systems – such as home schooling. While none as radical as starting from scratch, there are elements of each that are valid and potentially useful to whatever shape the eventual solution takes. Until I can figure out how to have sub pages show up, the blogroll to the right shows a very brief starter list of links to sites I have found or been referred to. They seem to understand the enormity of the challenge of this process called education. Please feel free to add to this list in your comments as you come to it or find more resources that can shed light. I will copy them into the blogroll (or the other pages once I figure it out).

2 Responses to “Resources”

  1. srdill said

    Another use for this page may be to cite others who have glimpsed a very different method or meaning for the term “public education.” For instance, this quote attributed to Rabindranath Tagore, the recipient of the 1913 Nobel Prize for literature, as he described the environment at Santiniketan, the school he had created in 1901 and later supported with the proceeds of his Nobel Prize:

    “A child is in his natural setting amidst the flowers and the songbirds. There he may more easily express the hidden wealth of his individual endowment. True education is not pumped and crammed in from outside sources, but aids in bringing to the surface the infinite hoard of wisdom within.”

    Paramahansa Yogananda, “Autobiography of a Yogi” c. 1946

  2. srdill said

    Here is someone who sees a similar future for Public Education, though there is still a dependence on teachers rather than parents. This is becoming a differentiator. From Chris Whittle in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal:

    “So what might schools of the future be like? Although our vision may be obscured by our attendance at “old design” schools for most of our formative years, educational visionaries can see, through the mist, the coastlines of these new schools. They see schools in which students are much more engaged in their “job” of learning; schools where teachers are paid like other professionals; schools that are hybrids between our current brick-and-mortar model and homeschooling techniques; schools where the assets of our magical digital age are fully unleashed, not to replace teachers, but rather to work in seamless combination with them. These designers know we can move our schools — and our educational results — to another level, just as we moved from the candle to the light bulb, from the prop plane to the jet.

    For this to happen quickly and well, however, our national political leadership must fund a whole new level of educational innovation. Great new schools do not just happen. As with every business innovation, they must be thoughtfully developed and designed — and that takes real resources that are simply not available to local school systems.”

    The funding burden on the government is also a stumbling block. For this effort to fly, there needs to be a reduction of public cost, not an increase. That will make it easier for political support at the local level and engender the support of those without children currently paying for public education out of their taxes.

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