To finish the course, I have to write an opinion/personal philosophy paper, and I want YOU to weigh in. Yes you. My dear friend. You. Read the following brief summary and tell me what you think.
This class focuses on the four main ideologies held regarding education as a whole. Here is what these four ideologies generally support as the reason we have education:
Scholar Academic - school is for students to learn the collective information we've accumulated over hundreds of years in academia (math, science, history - below, language, humanities, etc), putting kids in college and making them experts in various disciplines. There is a set curriculum they need to know and will be tested on.
Social Efficiency - school is to prepare potential workers with skills, knowledge and behaviors they need to contribute and succeed in society. This is the Ron Swanson approach - we turn them into the workers that the market needs using a factory-like method: they go in as raw materials, they come out as polished, completed commodities (employees).
Learner-Centered - school is to help kids discover and self-actualize. These are the schools where kids individually decide what they want to learn and when, and kids are allowed to be kids.
10 Extra Awesome points if you get this reference
Social Reconstruction - society is ill, and school is how we heal it. We educate kids on the problems of the world (i.e. Kony, hunger, racism), teach them critical thinking and problem solving skills and then encourage them to take it forth into the world to turn this bus around.
I have to write a paper on my personal philosophy of curriculum, referencing these four main ideologies. I'm on the social side - Social Efficiency and Social Reconstruction, but grounded in Scholar Academic. I think the way our society and education system is headed, if we can't get kids jobs and limit their student loan debt, we're gonna collapse in on ourselves! We need to be teaching kids skills the market needs - no more useless English degrees with $50,000 in student loans. We also need to be talking to them about social inequalities, demographic issues and horrors that need to be corrected - they are the future! Only they can control what happens when we get all old and decrepit. But still. I know my kids hate to hear this, but I USE MATH. Maybe not trig, but I still use everything up to Geometry and Algebra 2. Maybe even College Algebra. They need to know about our history, even if it won't apply to their future jobs because THEY LIVE HERE GOSH DANGIT. They need to know WHO THEY ARE. I'm just the teensiest bit biased here, obvs. Learner-Centered is great in theory, and I do try to incorporate their choice and interests wherever possible, but in reality it just doesn't work for most people/teachers/schools.
So I want to know, as I prepare to write this paper - what do you think? What is school for?
Is school for learning information and ideas?
Is school for learning skills so you can get a guaranteed, good job?
Is school for discovering yourself and growing?
Or is school for preparing a generation to take on the world and fix all of societies problems?
Should we focus on information or skills? Thoughts or feelings?
What is the most important? Can you choose just one?
Let me know! I want to get perspectives from parents, students, non-teachers and teachers alike. Love you all!