Thursday, March 25, 2010
Missing the Boat
I know we are doing whatever it takes to teach children to read, but do we really have to sacrifice science, social studies, movement and the fine arts? How are we going to solve the environmental crisis if the students don't know what is involved in habitat? Will they care about people in Ghana if they don't even know the difference between a country and a continent? Students who cannot read can draw, sometimes very well. Students who have athletic ability deserve a chance to use it, and physical exercise will keep them healthy until they are old enough to qualify for Medicare, which may be age 80 by then. Music is the most effective teaching tool we have, and a recent study showed that children under the age of one move to music spontaneously (http://www.sciencefriday.com/videos/watch/10289). What are we doing with what we have? We have 1660 minutes per day to teach our students how to be reasonable human beings with a desire to learn whatever they need to learn to survive in a global society. Education has been charged with teaching citizenship, basic skills, love of learning, a need to serve others, and an appreciation for life in all of its multitude of dimensions. Are we missing the boat?