Friday, July 11, 2008

Why Education Can't Be Fixed

Any effort to "fix education" will fail for two reasons. First, education is so many things to so many people: for some, education means job training, for others it means fixing social problems, still others see education as job security or a source of political clout. Americans love education, believe in education and pay big money for education, but few agree on what it is, what it should accomplish, or what methods should be used to achieve it.

Second, the problems of education seem varied and complex; but the complexity is a myth, rooted in a modern misconception about education and educators. The fact is that the only person who can fix education is the student. The more popular options - increased funding, bigger schools, vouchers, the proliferation of private or charter schools, more homeschooling - will not and cannot fix education. They may improve it, perhaps even significantly, but only to the extent that individual students determine to educate themselves and then follow through.

Teaching, not education, should be our focus, because great teaching inspires students to educate themselves. Great teaching will solve our educational problems - in public, private and home schools. . Find a great teacher, in any setting, and you will find a group of students diligently, enthusiastically and effectively educating themselves.

Teachers teach and students educate. Students are the only true educators. Historically, every other method of education fails. Education occurs when students get excited about learning and follow through; students do this when they experience great teachers. (O.V. DeMille-A Thomas Jefferson Education)


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