Every day, adults are role models of learning (whether or not they want to be).
The amount of time required to process thoughts, as well as the perceived “rawness” of the experience, varies considerably from person to person. It could be that for 1 “average” hour of stimulation, people need an hour of reflection to create useful memories. On occasion, it might be much more than that; for example, it could easily require 10 or 15 hours or more to process 1 intense hour of unfamiliar activity, especially one that’s well outside of one’s comfort zone.
Each child has a spark of genius waiting to be discovered, ignited, and fed. And the goal of schools shouldn’t be to manufacture “productive citizens” to fill some corporate cubicle; it should be to inspire each child to find a “calling” that will change the world. The jobs for the future are no longer Manager, Director, or Analyst, but Entrepreneur, Creator, and even Revolutionary.
“School days” should have extensive downtimes—that is, stretches without scheduled activities and even without the context of impending homework. Admittedly, one of the scariest things for all of us is to be alone with our thoughts. But it is ultimately scarier not to be.
…tests emphasize exactly the wrong skills. They emphasize the memorization of massive amounts of facts that neurologically have a half-life of about 12 hours. They focus on short-term rewards through cramming to compensate for a failure in long-term development of value.
Learning to be focuses on helping someone understand who they are and who they want to be. This type of learning answers such questions as: “What do I love doing?” “What is my dream?” “What gives me energy?” “What are my unique strengths?” and even “What is my role in a group?”
Tests only test the test taker’s ability to prepare for and take tests. For example, there is no skill worth having that can be measured through a multiple-choice exam.
Children need to be socialized. They need to spend time with peers and adults that is both positive and productive.
Any structure that does not embrace the chaotic diversity of talents is doomed to a lower common denominator approach. Ultimately, along the way that approach creates a corrupt moral framework around temporary abilities measured by incomplete short-term standards.
Grouping students by the same age is just a bad idea.
It is time to consider new approaches to education through a lens outside the ones of the education-industrial complex.
Being a role model has two values, not necessarily in this order. First, children learn by watching adults. Second, adults will be a lot more thoughtful in what they assign children to do if they actually have to do it themselves.