I have been hesitant to write this entry for days now. It seems that most days I can ignore the deep feeling that high school education is in a rut. Its not about the technology. I can integrate tech into my lessons. I’m learning to create collaborative, integrated lesson plans. I’m blogging [I haven’t used it as a education tool for years though.] I got the wikis going. The real time data loggers.

But it keeps nagging me. Here are the dots that get to me and I’m trying to connect.

  • I feel as if I’m simply producing more well educated consumers. We are preparing them for college, are we preparing them for their lives? Their future?
  • One reason my wife and I are headed back home was to get ‘back to nature’. Yet I’m going to work at a private school in a small city. Its not what we were really looking for but…then what?
  • Climate change! Can we predict how our students future’s are going to change? If not, is the status quo good enough? The positive feedback mechanisms seem to be melting the Arctic ice sheet 200% faster [from the projected 2.5% to the actual 7.8% per year] than the models predicted.
  • Are current economical and govermental systems so static, and education in turn, that we, as teachers are incapable of preparing for this altered geographical model?
  • If we as teachers are incapable of modifying out curricular outcomes then how do we motivate out students to make a difference?
  • Steli Efti got me thinking too with his little book. I’m not sure I agree with all of it. But there are some good points in there.
  • What about my sons? I want them to be ‘happy’ sure, but I want them to feel as if they can make change happen in the world. Whatever world this may be. It might be their immediate local world, or the world as a whole.
  • Every time I think about this it makes me feel guilty. How am I making a difference? Where’s my voice?
  • Adbusters adds to my chagrin. I’m not even gonna start on that.

I have been telling my students for years now that they are amongst the most well educated people in human history, yet they feel no empowerment. They don’t know how to find their voice, let alone use it. I know this because I have asked them on many occasios. The rest is speculation. I suspect they want to make a difference. They are aware of many of the world’s large problems. They would love to contribute to a solution. However, somewhere on the path to this unintended future they end up focused on career paths, salaries, reputation.

I know marketing has a huge part to play in teaching our students what to desire and attain – my prof always said ‘peers rule‘. How does school educate? What cultural, economic, environmental ‘memes‘ [my friend Clay reminded me about these] do we project as educators?

**Stop to think…………………..**

Technology or no technology, unless we begin to at least THINK about our future, then hwo do we expect to prepare our students for the 21st century plus? It seems that we are still modelling the 20th century skill set and ideals. Graduate…get job…make money….live comfy life of choice. Who, when, where, do we start taking responsibility, as the most learned, informed, technological, rich people in history to actually begin to solve the same problems that have existed for the history of mankind humankind?

Isn’t it about time to start empowering our students to think believe they can make a difference?

If not now – when?
If not us – who?

I keep reading about school’s wanting to be ‘the best’. What does this actually mean? I’m thinking I want my students to be ‘the best’. That is a criteria that can be defined. Honourable. Loyal. Peaceful. [add your favorite virtue here]

**more thinking………………..**

It seems to me that schools are defining the wrong thing. We should be defining our product not the institution. Aren’t we/shouldn’t we be judged by our actions?

We have some serious work to do.

I see walls all around me. I’m starting to feel claustrophobic so I’m stopping now.

Linzel

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