- Léo’s Insights 2019-2020
- Léo’s Insights 2020-2021
- Léo’s Insights 2018-2019 Academic Year
Last week, I discussed how the school system is intransigently stuck in the past tense. This week, I want to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic of last spring provided real opportunity to re-evaluate the existing system and to address the need to update our understanding of education to the twenty first century.
We need to put an end to the idea that learning is not learning unless it follows government directives, taught by a certificated teacher in a classroom setting. This thinking assumes all children to be the same and in need of academic “construction” following a set of guidelines designed to produce consistent results. This is usually understood as having a standard for education.
However, advancing such standards is unrealistically based on the assumption that homogenizing individuals of unlimited diversity is indeed possible. This may have been the case fifty years ago when the population was more unified, but this is no longer applicable.
The standardizing of education created an industry that effectively put the cart ahead of the horse with system survival taking precedence over student well-being.
No doubt, attention is given to “meeting the individual needs of each child,” but this is more a case of fixing those children who fail to properly fit the standard program.
I was clearly exposed to this flawed thinking when I assumed the responsibility for the handling of student records this year. While digitizing these paper files in order to bring them to the 2020s, I was reminded of how repetitious, complicated and irrelevant these records were.
I had forgotten this, as I have been using computer technology for over thirty years and our agency has only kept digital student records from its inception.
I questioned how most of the information included in each collection could have any useful purpose in education? It was like I was looking at service records for a vehicle, only these were records for real children. Many things came to mind at the time, but I will only mention two.
I imagined that, had the education system kept up with technology, most of these records would have simply been incorporated within a database with absolutely no need for paper files repeated or updated every year. Synchronizing records using technology makes it far more efficient and much more useful.
Recent changes within the system, while a good thing, have only begun what should have been, twenty years ago.
The other thought was that these records are likely more about protecting the industry and justifying the extra costs of “fixing” students so they can fit or appear to fit the system.
The old system had to do this, but modern technology is better able to accommodate learning needs and readiness of the individual child, thus reducing the need for the costly “inclusive education” processes being advanced today.
While being discouraged from questioning a child’s perceived sexual identity, we continue to provide “therapies” for “learning deficiencies.” Perhaps it is time to recognize that the “educational identity” of children should also be accepted and provided for in such a way that the child is not made to become something they were never created to be, nor prepares them for their unique place in this world.
This is another place where home education outshines a school education. Parents are able to love children unconditionally and to be intimately aware of their unique educational needs. Home educating parents are not paid more to fix their children and so are more likely to employ what best serves each one uniquely.
In the end, the COVID-19 pandemic did have at least one positive outcome if it caused us all to re-evaluate learning and education.
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