2 Thought-Provoking Videos About Education

While I have always thought that education was important, it is only within the past couple of years that I've become more interested and involved in the public education system. It's been a pleasure to work with some great teachers and administrators.

But . . . from my observations, and from talking with and reading about numerous educators (in Allendale, Greenville, and beyond), problems are staring us in the face. And it is easier to shout your political rhetoric than change your own mindset.

Here are a couple of videos that have challenged and inspired me:

Why This Teacher Quit

This disgruntled 29-year veteran says, "Rather than creating life-long learners, our new goal is to create good test-takers. Rather than being the recipients of a rewarding and enjoyable educational experience, our students are now relegated to experiencing a confining and demeaning education." He then goes on to describe a typical school day, and the consequences that result.

Experiments in Self-Teaching

Several years ago, I would have been skeptical of this talk by Sugata Mitra. But now I am much more of a believer in the thinking that, "If children have interest, education happens." And I like the "method of the grandmother" (see 9:30), i.e., stand behind them and admire them all the time (with prodding questions).

What do you think of these videos?

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  1. I think the two videos go well together. The challenge is that there are specific standards used to judge how kids learn and along with that a standard methodology. The key is to be able to do what is identified in the 2nd video while maintaining the ability to test well. I think the second video showed very clearly that using his method, there were significant improvements using standard testing so it is not one or the other. There are many issues facing todays schools and teachers, but I think these types of ideas at least start getting people talking.

    1. Exactly! Leaders need to eager to talk about these ideas, instead of sticking to "what we've always done."

      Thanks for your input!

  2. I taught in the public school system for nine years and I couldn't be more anti- public school. It's another Orwellian mindset that the state should raise our children.

    I keep seeing articles about teacher accountability but I worked with wonderful teachers. These teachers were hog-tied by regulations and politically correct jargon that prevented them from being able to discipline children but still were expected to teach in the midst of chaos.
    The bottom line was, the children whose parents took responsibility for their children's behavior and study habits succeeded. The kids whose parents saw it as the responsibility of the state did not.

    It got to where we were feeding kids two out or three meals a day and filling their back pack with groceries for the week end.

    Don't get me wrong I don't want a child to be neglected but it seems to me this only reinforced neglectful parents attitudes that they didn't have to take care of their own children.
    I could go on and on.

    1. Great points. I agree with you that which education option chosen is not nearly as important as how the parents are involved in that education choice (http://differentway4kids.blogspot.com/2012/01/summary-education-options-for-your.html).

      I hate that you had that experience, and I hate seeing teachers burned out by the "system." But, I think I have a role to play to support the teachers, who work so hard in a much-needed job.