Monday, September 17, 2012

Why School? Will Richardson Leads Us Towards Answers To This Critical Question

Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning and Information are Everywhere is mandatory reading for anyone who cares about the education of their children. It is the perfect jumping off point for anyone interested in beginning or continuing a conversation on the long overdue changes that our schools need to undergo in order to provide a relevant learning experience for our students. Will Richardson speaks as a parent, a teacher, and a learner regarding the fundamental changes taking place outside the walls of our schools and he makes a compelling case as to what we need to do inside of our school walls to adjust to what he describes as “a shift in the way we define and acquire an “education.’"

I encourage school communities to read this book together as a tool for creating a new vision about why our kids go to school.   At just $2.99 a copy, you will not find a more cost effective resource. 

Will presents straightforward questions that we can present to parents and other stakeholders to help us make this much needed shift.  We need to help parents and community members engage in a narrative that will help them see clearly that the test scores that our country’s education reform movement are focused upon “tell us little if anything about our children’s chances for future success.”

Will also provides concrete examples of how and where there are schools that are starting to make this shift.  These schools have stepped away from the teacher-centered mentality that dominates most classrooms and moved to a learner-centered approach where students and teachers learn together about our rapidly changing world.  

The moral imperative for those passionate about the education of our children and their children is clear. He leaves us with this final thought:

“Just imagine the learners they could become if we made that the focus of our work, if instead of passing the test, we made those ever-more important skills of networking, inquiry, creation, sharing, unlearning and relearning the answer to “Why School?”

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