Monday, October 19, 2015

Our current school structure and policy ignores readiness to learn

Because I couldn't say it any better, although I have tried on many occasions and still keep trying:
     Many of us in formal learning situations are on a lockstep treadmill. It is indifferent to our needs, to our circumstances, and to our preferences and what we have to contribute to others. 
     Because it is efficient to teach in groups, we are bunched by combinations of age, required (not desired) subjects, testing, time, and space allotments. All of these ways of grouping are likely to be unresponsive to our readiness (or the lack of it) to learn. 
     Learning does not proceed in a straight line. It cannot be organized and disseminated uniformly to groups. It is not a systematic stratification of facts and schemata to be regurgitated at appointed times. 
     One does not learn by surrendering to an established order but by discovering new orders in connection with individual experience. It happens in fits and starts. It is driven by questions generated by a learner's desire to know. It makes early leaps in one individual while stumping the next, only to be leapfrogged by the stumped one when he or she finally 'gets it' on a whole new level. 
     To herd learning into an appointed linear path and into a uniform conclusion is simply folly. This is common sense, yet we ignore it....It begins to suggest the unthinkable -- throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
     It is important to recognize here that none of the continuing education reforms dictated by public policy and signed into law by 'education' governors, senators, and presidents addresses the underlying faults of traditional and institutionalized learning as addressed here. Until they do, we are 'rearranging deck chairs.'
Davis, Edward L. Lessons for Tomorrow: Bringing America's Schools Back from the Brink. Northport, MI. Orgone Press, 2006. (pp. 82-83)