Changing Education Paradigm

An interesting video came across my “desk” (read Gmail) that I want to share.  I’m not sure yet whether or not this is a series of animations from the longer discussion, but I watched it with Squirelflight who found it rather engaging.  Probably far more than she would if just listening to the lecturer considering she’s very visual.

There’s an hour long discussion of changing paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson here as well, if you wish to hear more from him.  Since watching the first video, I’ve begun looking into other RSAnimate videos, and find them rather compelling.  They’re amusing, and they make the lecture more interesting for those of us who are more visual-kinesthetic like my daughter and I.  Even with the most amazing of speakers, I tend to drift and lose some of the data when listening to a long lecture, despite feelings of engagement and excitement, especially when visuals are not used or used only to small effect.

This ties in with these lectures on paradigms, because we are not all the same in the ways that we learn, think, or process information, and it’s this that added to my decision to pull Squirelflight from her former school.  It was a private institution built on a foundation of good ideas and incredible intentions that was rapidly being reshaped into a preparatory school closer to the teach-to-the-test drill-style that is ruining public education now.  Not that I think public education was ever viewed in the right ways from the very beginning (see Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto for your educational history lesson).

The challenge right now for us is to discover what ways we as a microschool within our home can best allow our sole student to grow and make use of her skills, especially within the overwhelming lack of desire to actually work.  Motivation has waxed and waned from the beginning of this experiment, but even given the opportunity to attempt gaining access to a middle school next year that she sorely wanted to join three years ago, she opted to continue this.  She knows that the demands are growing and expectations will increase as she progresses.  I wish that we could spend more time with other students who could help her create collective and collaborative projects that interest her, but those are sadly limited to a few visits to my friend’s house and the occasional one-time workshop or class.

Still, we will press on, and maybe we will learn together how to change our own mini-paradigm so that she gets the most from the resources that I am able to provide.


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