This week the Coöp asks, What must we do to transform schools into places of authentic, democratic learning?
I agree with what everyone has put forth this week. My addition
Look to Young children to be Catalysts of Change. We have been talking a lot about what we as teachers can do, but what about the children. The very act of empowering them to be at the table is a paradigm shift that could change the world. It is not a simple act, because often it is merely talked about and forgotten when the power is truly removed from the hands of the teacher or adult. I read Paula’s students wiki last week, that spoke of the change her students were seeking in their school. Why not truly give students the opportunity to be change agents?
Soon enough it will not be change but invention!
Vygotsky believed that learning and development happens in social settings and by interacting with other people along with using the tools and wisdom of the society in which they live. I believe that school can be a place where student do not just learn to use the tools and wisdom of our current and past societies, but also be a filter, critique and revise the usefulness and merit of these ideas.
The great wonder of our current school system is the lost potential for real innovation and change. We have created a system that could be use to consistently rebuild our society to be at the cutting edge of thought and creativity, instead we spend a quarter of our lives learning how to run in place and call “foul” on anyone that chooses to disagree with the way things have been done. What if Schools worked like non-profit business? Solving problems big and small, locally and globally? How would that shift the purpose of education?
We should harness the energy and passion of our new learners. We most looks to our young children to reinvent and construct new ways to think about our past , future and the current state of being. Schools should and can be a center for this type of work.
How can we truly give children a seat at the table? Can we give children the seat at the head of the table?