An Education Ideal.

Watch this TED Talk.

Hackschooling. This is a phrase used by Logan LaPlante, a thirteen year-old boy who is is homeschooled and participates in what he likes to call hackschooling.

The main point of the talk is the interesting idea that schools are not teaching students how to be happy aka how to live a well-rounded life through exercise, building healthy relationships, recreation, time in nature, relaxation and stress management, contribution and service, and spiritual growth. 

I had never thought about this before and it is certainly an ideal that I would take into consideration when running a school. Why aren’t we teaching our children how to build healthy relationships? Talking more openly in schools about bullying, and time management? These are things that have slipped through the cracks and students just have to learn on their own or be taught at home. But why? What is the goal of having a public education? I would argue that it is to build moral well-rounded and informed citizens, but is that what the education system is doing at the moment? Or it is looking at children as a number game. Good test scores are just an end game for the public school system. If students are succeeding on tests then we are doing our job. I do not think that this is good enough.

Now Logan is obviously an ideal. Not every kid is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to stay at home and have very involved parents in their educational experience. And who is to say that this homeschool method is the best? Yes real world experiences are happening, but at the end of the day to get into a good university and pass the SAT you must have a certain skill set in mathematics and reading comprehension.

By looking at these two extremes we need to realize that schooling needs to have a balance. We need to build into the curriculum time for students to go outside, to play sports, to be creative, and to have longstanding healthy relationships. We need to give them the opportunities to go into the real world and see what jobs look like. If a student wants to become a doctor there should be resources available for that student to see what being a doctor is like. This does not necessarily mean policy, but it means having someone there ready to listen to a students needs and be able to guide them to the correct path. We need the people closest to the students, teachers and administrators to realize that they are the ones making the actual difference and we need policymakers to understand that weighing these people down with unnecessary restrictions and unrealistic ideals is not helping anyone.

It is good to build students into real people.

It is good to try to have an understanding of the students needs, not only as an academic, but also as a social beings.

It is good to create opportunities for students to be successful inside and outside of the classroom.

It is good to explore different ideals of a system to make it better.

It is good to recognize an education ideal.

 

Siobhan

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3 Responses to An Education Ideal.

  1. gabbylap says:

    While I recognize Logan’s assertions in regards to the role of education in today’s society, I would argue that certain things are meant to be taught at the discretion of the parents. Perspectives on relationships vary between cultures, solely teaching relationship dynamics in schools may not be ideal. However, I do believe that education should be more hands-on. As a student, being involved in your local community will prove to be invaluable. Work experience, volunteering, in congruence with networking will help any student. However, you mentioned that students should be able to shadow a career if they want. Although I admire the idea, I think it would be extremely difficult, time management wise as well as financially, to provide students that opportunity.

    More than anything, I agree with your comment that students should be understood as social beings not just students. In the confines of a school, children need more than just academics. Children need to be encouraged to actively engage with material that is outside the norm of state standards. Students should also be involved in their community, which will ease the many social transitions they will encounter. Great post!

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  2. khjinni says:

    I completely agree with your comment on schools needing a balance of academics and social activities. Students learn social skills and non-academic behaviors at homes, but it’s bound to be limited to the culture of their families. Therefore, schools must provide a variety of activities including athletics, music, art, experimental science, debates, and many more that students typically would not experience at homes. It’s a problem now since schools are leaning toward eliminating “non-academic” subjects from the curriculum. It’s a shame that college admissions require test scores that do not necessarily measure the students’ intelligence. People say, SATs measure students test-taking skills, not their critical reading, writing, or math skills.

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  3. askamypart2 says:

    This is a wonderful post; while it may not be perfect, can anything in education be considered so? While there should be parental consent in how this is taught in individual schools, I see no problem with having such ideals in a school setting. I hate this testing culture, but I realize that assessment is necessary. I love the idea of incorporating interpersonal relationship ideals in the classroom, but there should also be restrictions on this based on whether the parents agree with how it will be taught. This brings me to my wish that we could individualize school systems to find the surrounding community. No school system is the same, so why do we have national standardized policy affecting all schools in the same way?

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