Ei Sinun Isä Koulia...

...or, "Not your father's school" in Finnish.

If you aren't from Finland however (the country that tops all others in Science, and is near tops in Math and Language according to the 2006 PISA Report) you might say this instead:

не вашего отца школы (Russian)
不是你父親的學校 (Chinese)
Nicht dein Vater-Schule (German)
لا اباك مدرس (Arabic)
Pas l'école de votre père (French)
귀하의 아버지의 학교에 없다 (Korean)
Non è il tuo padre scuola (Italian)
父親のいない学校 (Japanese)
No es su padre de la escuela (Spanish)

The learning environment for our kid's success as adults is not in the traditional school house of our parents, but in what is yet to be created. It is too hard to fix public schools, pumping them with billions in resources. It is too big and slow of an institution, in spite of the hard work of the countless few (the techno-savvy, bright, energetic, out-of-the-box thinkers) who embrace the necessary tools to develop kids for their future.

Alvin Toffler says in a great interview posted on edutopia.org, "...The public school system is designed to produce a workforce for an economy that will not be there. And therefore, with all the best intentions in the world, we're stealing the kids' future."

Do we re-examine, re-structure, re-train, re-build, re-fund, re-form?

Should we purchase a round trip ticket to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to spend some time in Finland studying what it is they do, with the hope of replicating their practices and success?

We could. We could even read everything available about current education, pedagogy, and best practices so we are super informed. We could attend every professional development class or seminar with the hottest name in education so we are up to date with the newest trends, all with the charge of fixing the system.

Or we could listen to Alvin Toffler as he loosely quotes Bill Gates, "We don't need to reform the system; we need to replace the system."


What?? Hold on. This is crazy! Are Tofflin and Gates suggesting we replace the school system that successfully elevated the United Stated to a global superpower? How does that make any sense? Our education system has worked for such a long time hasn't it?

The truth is that US kids have fallen far from the top of the stats. The fat from 'mom's apple pie' isn't sustaining us any longer. We are not in a world where the schools, our father's schools, will allow us to compete in a global market. There are too many forks with a reach extending from every corner of the flat world, freely taking bites from the pie.

Replacing, not rebuilding our system of education, will ensure there is an opportunity for my kids and your kids to have a bite of the pie when their time comes to eat.

No comments: