American education has been hijacked by policy makers who don’t trust teachers, unions that are over-protective of job security, a private sector eager to privatize, and a standardized testing regime that rewards test prep over genuine learning. In the middle of it all, bored students disconnect from school as they realize that their main function is to be trivialized into a source of data for adults looking for someone to blame.
While America educational leadership offers hollow sound bites about life-long learning, Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellenceoffers us insight into what American kids are missing. This video produced by the Scottish program offer a quick introduction to three project-based approaches. Here’s two quotes from the video that say it all:
~ A student, ”When you’re just copying a text book … you’re looking at results which people have already achieved and proved their work… but when you doing it yourself you get an idea of how things work … and what you actually need to make things successful.”
~ A teacher, ”In this approach … your not teaching the subject in isolation – your teaching in a much more natural way … with greater depth and more enrichment… there’s an accessible point for every child in the class and they can build on that and take it in directions of their own personal interests.”