How Real can it Be?

I just read a very good blog by an innovative school administrator. He titled it “School Must Be Real Life.” He said some good things about the need to link education with real life; learning bits of seemingly irrelevant data’ without context doesn’t go over very well for students. Good teachers help young people to understand the value of the “Magna Charta”, learning algebra, showing how these things fit into life.

In response I wrote: “
I like your thoughts! Learning must connect with meaningful things to motivate students. Our current public education system makes this very difficult. Not only do bureaucracy, regulations, and other ‘top-down’ authority make it hard to get off the beaten path, but laws supporting church/state separation. We connect with many common things in life, but issues of deeper meaning are largely off the table. We can link kids with the material world, but the world of beliefs, values and meaning (that more powerfully motivate) can only be discussed at a distance. I am publishing a book “Education Reform: Confronting the Secular Ideal” on this topic (out in about a month). I believe the best way to engage students in learning is to reformulate our public school systems to allow teachers and students to engage learning at a deeper level.”

Chris Lehmann’s idea is right on, but the context limits how far teachers can go. Lehmann is an education reformer, perhaps he will catch the vision of SACE!
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