We have talked extensively of charter schools and new emerging private schools (like Brightworks and the Ron Clark Academy) that embrace a new philosophy of education which places more emphasis on the learner and fosters kids' creativity and imagination by granting them more independence and ability to express themselves. Although all these efforts are clearly admirable and point towards the right direction, we would like to stress the fact that alternative education can’t possibly be the solution of the problem. In fact it might even aggravate it. We would like to quote an opinion found on Art Practical, an online magazine that enriches critical dialogue for the Bay Area visual arts by providing comprehensive analysis of events and exhibitions.
“Despite funding cuts, the disadvantaged conditions of the families they serve, and the perception created by Waiting for Superman, the reality of public schools is not one of systemic failure. One of public education’s biggest problems, however, is private education. Private schools absorb, not only the money, but also the care, solidarity, and political capital of middle-class parents—and that’s what the public schools need. The core of childhood education is not aesthetic engagement, but social equity. The worst thing you can say about an educational system is not that it is boring, but that it is unjust.” - Dominic Willsdon -- Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
We think that this argument has an important value to it. We believe that making school more engaging, personalized, less assessment focused and more adapted to the needs of a changing world is crucial to the future of education, but we also feel that this goal should never shadow the importance of education as a fundamental human right and a way to empower kids and give them the key to their future. Not only this right should be accessible to all, but should also grant all kids equal opportunities.
Finnish Education - Equal opportunities for all
Social Equity and Justice in Education - by Pearson Foundation
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