Monday, November 4, 2013

The paradox of our age - and our schools


We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicines, but less healthiness;
We've been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We build more computers to hold more
information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication;

We have become long on quantity, but short on quality.  These are times of fast foods but slow digestion;    Tall men but short character; Steep profits but shallow relationships.

It's a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.
The 14th Dalai Lama

The above text from the Dalai Lama reminds us of some of the contradictions of our modern society.  Without wishing in any way to deminish the message of this  inspired writing I’d like to suggest my own additions relating to current educational practice  to his powerful prose.

“We have more instruction but less inspiration,
More trivial answers but fewer significant questions,
More rote and recall, less speculation and imagination,
More “tick the box” but less “think outside the square”,
More “rights”, but fewer “responsibilities”,
More edutainment but less engagement,
More talking but less conversation,
More efficiency but less excellence,
In short, we have more teaching but less learning.

It’s time to put the focus back where it should be - on the child. The needs of “the system” should be replaced by the needs of our students.

I began this post by citing the Dalai Lama.  I’ll end  by citing another known for his cosmological musings - Albert Einstein.   “Many of the things you can count, don't count. Many of the things you can't count really count.”

Education counts. Maybe schooling doesn’t.

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