Has education become stale for the 21st century?

Do what you love, love what you do.” ~ Ray Bradbury

I’d like to share the following letter I wrote to my children’s former school principal (back in 2013) on our decision to take a break from the public school system, and put them into a private school, based on the Montessori education philosophy…

“First, we’d like to acknowledge that our children have had many wonderful memories at (I’m choosing to keep the school name anonymous, because I see this as a system problem) Public School, and for the most part, their teachers have exercised their best interest in assisting when there was need. They have also made many great connections with their peers. However, the reason for this decision is deeply rooted in the fact that we don’t feel that the conventional education system is idealistic in planting a solid foundation in discovering our boys’ truest potential— which is ultimately what we’re looking to achieve. The current methods of teaching and measuring children’s abilities, is extremely outdated and slow to evolve with the changing times and needs of today.

According to Barry MacDonald, educator consultant, and the author of ‘Boy Smarts— Mentoring Boys for Success at School’— if we allow ourselves to learn about boys’ special strengths and abilities, we can begin to imagine how we might better meet their learning needs by helping them engage more fully in school and guide them to develop a lifelong interest of learning. At this point it seems that schools became more concerned with identifying potential bullies than with meeting the learning needs of boys (or children in general), which in many cases, the feeling of not being ‘good enough’ is what creates or fuels bullying in the first place!

A ‘one size fits all’ learning system prevents children from tapping into their innate intelligence, creativity, and ingenuity that is so sorely needed in the twenty-first century. And more than ever before, teachers are overwhelmed with various individual learning needs, such as behavioural disfunction’s, ranges of autism, physical disabilities, and so forth. They are told in teacher’s college that each child is unique in their learning style, but yet in practice they are forced mostly to abide by test scores, and a curriculum that confines children’s authentic process of learning about oneself. Fundamentally, discovering a love for learning would make for healthier people—both emotionally and physically later in life. Isn’t this the purpose of going to school in the first place?!

As I explore life myself, there are many instances where I encounter people’s core stress is in their lack of passion for what they do in their careers, that it’s really only about the paycheque that keeps them chained down to their positions/jobs. This inevitably results in epidemic numbers of people under stress related conditions, when you calculate how much of our time is spent at work.

We are entering an extraordinary new age in medicine and the health sciences. On the one hand, we are making remarkable progress in curing illnesses and prolonging life. On the other hand, we are losing the battle against a very simple but elusive problem—STRESS. Despite medical science’s enormous strides in treating illness, the problems caused by stress are becoming more prevalent and difficult to treat. The time is rapidly approaching, if it hasn’t already arrived, when we will be dying less and less from infectious or invasive diseases, but more often from the ravaging effects of too much stress. And stress disease is different from most forms of illness, we bring it on ourselves!” ~ Dr. Archibald D. Hart

It may seem as if the world is advancing, but really only technologically, again the sad fact is people are living with enormous amounts of stress and pressure further inflating all sorts of problems in our world. We wonder why there are so many imbalances but never stop long enough to look deeper at the root cause of our collective distress. We push ourselves until we’re confronted by the brutal truth that we’re actually deeply unhappy and unsatisfied— or even worse, when it unfolds into greater tragedies around the world! Well that’s basically where we’re at as a family, questioning everything and its true and real purpose. Choosing—to the best of our ability— not to follow the mainstream of making repetitive unconscious mistakes. It’s our biggest responsibility, as forward moving thinkers, to provide children with the best opportunity to further their own growth as healthy individuals, and to surround them with passionate teachers and motivators that will enrich their experience for life. And if that means rearranging funds to initiate a strong foundation from the very beginning of life, and not into a far off dream of going to ‘University some day’, then so be it.

A strong and solid structure is built from the ground up. Even basic psychology shows that the early years of a person’s life is a critical stage in developing one’s self-esteem and confidence. So therefore, if I see my children struggling and developing a distaste for their current method of education, it’s definitely time to make some major moves and not let them ‘fall through the cracks’. Fear and conformity is not an option. Our mission is to support our children to thrive and shine brilliantly in their authenticity, and therefore inspire necessary change in this world. A world where people can expand into the next generation of peaceful, happier, and more loving human beings.”

The majority of people didn’t just wake up one day and say, let’s free the slaves, and they also didn’t wake up and say, let’s give women the right to vote. It’s because a small group of people, usually considered outrageous radicals of the statuesque of their day, have a better idea. That’s how revolution works.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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