Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our Emerging Educational Revolution

I have been reading a lot recently, including Stephen Leeb's compelling book, The Coming Economic Collapse. I also have to believe we are at another major turning point in the history of our world. We have survived the Industrial Revolution and the Technological Revolution; do we have the foresight and courage to endure the energy revolution?

This alone is enough to have us shaking in our shoes or throbbing with excitement: the fact that we hold the future lifestyle of our children and grandchildren in our trembling, indecisive hands. But wait, there is more for us to concern ourselves with...

Earlier today, I stumbled across this article by Polly Curtis at a newspaper that was always a favorite of mine for education news when I lived in England:
about the revolutionary new curriculum proposed for implementation in British schools.

So, what has been obvious to those of us working as teachers in the education field for a while, is finally being recognized by higher powers – change is necessary. The huge, overwhelming question is: What exactly should we be teaching today's children to help them not just survive but thrive as they move out into the world?

Tony Wagner, in his 2008 book, The Global Achievement Gap, lists at least 7 skill areas that today's employers are seeking in their future employees. We would do well to take note of his extensive research.

Interestingly, after reading Ms Curtis's article, I spotted this link:

Anastasia de Waal, writes on Sunday 29 March, in the above article entitled, "Stop Twittering, Learn Latin", that the "relevance" of education does not always lie on the surface, but must be sought deeper in the knowledge being taught. Speaking of the re-introduction of Latin into inner-city schools in London and New York, she states: "Latin has been successful because of the discipline, rules and crucially, high expectations, it's entailed for the pupils."

This is my own experience also. I have been tutoring Latin to small groups of students, mostly home-schoolers, here in Michigan for 5 years now. I have developed my own unique way of teaching children even as young as 6. All my students love their lessons. They are excited by the challenge that decoding sentences that rely solely on endings rather than word order presents.

The content, methods, and grading systems we use to educate our children need a serious overhaul. The proposed route Ofsted, in the UK, is taking is a great step in the right direction, but let's take care not to dumb down our educational offerings. Let's raise the bar and once again begin to expect more from our children. They are more than capable of meeting any high standard we set for them. Let's recognize their immense talent and creativity and bring joy and personal satisfaction back to learning. When the pupils are engaged in challenging, stimulating and engaging activities many of the discipline issues we experience will simply fade away.

This is an exciting time for me. I am involved in developing and expanding the reach of my Latin curriculum, The Little Latinist, as well as being part of another extremely important ingredient in the education of the next generation. I am a Creative Wealth coach for Elisabeth Donati's brainchild Camp Millionaire: a financial literacy program for children. Through high-energy accelerated learning techniques, the students actually experience budgeting, investing, building a business, and so much more. Visit Elisabeth website for more information:

Through this blog I would love to have intense, life-changing discussions about anything related to educating our children. My focus is obviously Latin and financial literacy, but I would love to have you blog about anything you want to have feedback on or that you feel passionate about concerning education.