Based on the information in this article, it stands to reason that education in the last 15 years (and trends in parenting) had some areas for growth.
I don’t think I need to say much about the value of creativity, cultivating unique styles and opinions (informed by facts), with a focus on learning and not on being perfect. Think about it. What can we do going forward to nurture the new generation to be able to handle normal set-backs and bumps in the road a little better?
While I think it’s great that stores carry kits to encourage creativity, I think it’s crazy for anyone to pay $20 to get: fuzz balls, muffin papers, a few pieces of ribbon or rope or string, a few shiny things and a couple different textures of paper.
Consider: what do you throw away on a weekly basis?
I recall creating a craft kit as a gift in 1988 called “Matt’s Makings.” I paid $1.00 for the container and I filled it with cotton balls, a few q-tips, a few muffin papers, a few beads, a few shells from the beach, a couple textured items from household products (while not available in 1988, consider the coffee wrap that goes around your coffee cup in the morning). If we don’t have time to save some of these things or find them, we should consult someone who does. But it should not be a major retailer who then charges $20. I don’t think.
I heard a woman say she is starting a business to provide after school middle school technology. Her rationale was that with CCSS, test scores would keep “falling and falling.” Now, I think the goal of testing is to keep seeing improvement. I can’t imagine resigning myself to the conclusion that scores would continue to fall. Nevertheless, what jumped out at me (among a myriad of deep thoughts) was that the test score was the motivator. I believe that this is too simplistic and narrow of focus for educating—particularly if the focus is just on one set of test scores, rather than a portfolio of student growth (and by growth I don’t just mean a bump in test percentages). My points are not unique. The testing debate is everywhere—the dispute over what can be measured has consumed education policy. I leave things at two simple ideas. 1. Accountability is about relationships. We measure accountability by performance. How narrow do we want performance to be? Because, the narrower it is, the narrower the relationships. 2. To quote a blog commenter I respect: if you live by the test score, you die by the test score. We are killing education by living by the test score. What to do? Focus on broader ways of signaling strong relationships in learning—relationships between learner and teacher, between and among teachers, between and among learners, between and among communities and between and among our relationship to the world around us, both the natural world and the world we create.
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