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Happy Thanksgiving! – Anyone have a Donor’s Choose Project

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends!  For those of you who won’t be celebrating with us in the States, let me assure you that I will eat a piece of pie on your behalf This week has been relatively quite on iLearn Technology as I wrap up projects, start some new projects, and get ready for the holiday.  Just because I have been quite here doesn’t mean that I have been slacking; here is what I have been up to: Education and the McRib- a comparison of the McRib sandwich and education on my Dreams of Education blog. Education doesn’t need any more Nip Tuck: Our Normal Approach is Useless here- a comparison between breast implants and the education system. This was my 2 cents for blog4reform on Monday. Interview with @ShellTerell on Wetoku about #twitacad and the start of a new school. Thanks Shelly, it is always fun chatting with you! The Community of Learners Dream Team- my first post on the Cooperative Catalyst blog. In October, I joined @adambellow of edutecher.net in his Change the world campaign.  You can read more about that here: EduTecher Change the World post. I am cheating and calling it a day early so that I can post the results and not have to worry about it tomorrow.  From October 1 to today I have had 54,656 absolute unique visitors to iLearn Technology (according to Google Analytics). Truly amazing!  That works out to $546.56.  Now, like Adam I had to cap my contribution at $400 (teacher who is not employed makes even less than a teacher who is!).  I would love to use my contribution to fund some teacher Donor’s Choose projects.  If you have a project on Donor’s Choose that you would like funded, please leave a comment below.  If I get an overwhelming response, we can put it to a vote.  If anyone would like to donate to help reach the $546.56, or would like to match in any way, please leave a comment.  Help me to fund projects and dreams that will change students lives and make learning a richer experience! I am truly thankful for all of my readers, you all encourage me regularly!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Shocking! The real purpose of your life! or What are we preparing for?

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, education reform, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, video | Posted on 26-11-2012

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Today @lancefinkbeiner shared this video with me.  It is too good not to share!  Now…how to make this the reality of what learning is really about in schools.  I can’t tell you how often in education that the answer for why something is done is, “we are preparing kids for…”  For example, we give 3 hours of homework to elementary students because we are “preparing them for middle school.”   In middle school we give additional homework and weekly tests because we are “preparing them for high school.”  High school has it’s own set of ridiculous standards in preparation for college.

My question: when are we preparing kids for life?  When are we preparing them to engage in the world around them?  When are we preparing them for healthy relationships with others?  When are we preparing them to ask good questions and seek answers?  When are we preparing them for what to do with failure?

The problem for preparing kids for the next system they will encounter is that the next system isn’t really the goal.  That goal is this imaginary place we call “success” and “perfection”.  Neither exist.  How do we prepare kids to live honest, meaningful lives?  THAT is what I am interested in preparing for.

Comments (4)

Aren’t we *always* preparing kids to live honest, meaningful lives? I find your question a bit strange, I admit. Your preamble implies that kids require formal education (school) to learn to live honest, meaningful lives. I don’t think this is the case today, nor has it ever been. Kids need to learn many things outside of school. The best way to teach your kids to lead an honest, meaningful life, is to live one yourself -its amazing what kids will pick up from their surroundings. Formal education and life-lessons shouldn’t be conflated

Dave, this can be the trouble with a blog post…all of the nuances of thought can’t be wrapped up neatly in a few words. Judging by your comment here, my guess is that you don’t follow my work regularly. Sometimes I make the mistake of assuming that my readers know my background and previous thoughts that bleed into this one.
In answer to your comment: I don’t know that I agree that we are always intentionally preparing kids to live honest meaningful lives. I think that assigning hours of homework to an elementary student, for example, doesn’t lead to honesty (in learning for the pleasure of learning) or for working toward a meaningful life. I’m actually not saying that kids require formal school to learn to live honest, meaningful lives. In fact, quite the opposite. I believe that kids can learn this in spite of their formal schooling. What I am suggesting is that schools should stop telling kids that the purpose of learning is for the next institution of learning. What I am suggesting here is that learning (in schools) look more like life. I would agree, the best way to teach a child to live an honest and meaningful life is by modeling that ourselves. The question I pose to you: How is that possible in a system that leads children to believe that the purpose of learning is to prepare them for the next system? I started a school, http://anastasisacademy.com, to free up teachers to lead by example and to give students the freedom to explore what it means to live and honest, meaningful life.

I thoroughly agree with the video AND this post! Children aren’t able to learn and enjoy school anymore because they are bombarded with testing. State testing, this and that testing. It’s ridiculous. This is also having a negative affect on teachers because they cannot TEACH what they want, and they cannot really enjoy the career. We should reevaluate how our education system is working. Too many people graduate with Bachelor’s degrees that are useless. This needs to change! Great post!

I think it’s quite true that schools have to prepare children not only for next grade or level but also to prepare them for life and job skills that require worldwide awareness, collaboration, communication, problem solving…etc. Some people call those skills “The 21st century skills”.

Testing is not the olny way to assess students success at school. Teachers are using different tools such as daily observation of pair and group work. I am sure that there are many projects running worldwide are concerned about enhancing students’ life skills.

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