Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Progressive Survey #29

29. Should we expect every student to go to college?

No. I believe that there should not be one accepted graduation path, but rather several that cater to students' interests and strengths. At the moment, we commonly identified them as tech & college, but I think that the "tech" route still forces students into classes they only struggle in. The main issue for schools in creating those two paths is that we have to treat both as equals. Not everyone is "fit" for college, and that is okay (if, later down the road, a student took a tech route and wants to attend a traditional 4 year university, let the university figure out what their acceptance & requirements would be). We basically need to get off our high horses and not only say "It is okay for not everyone to go to college." and mean it.

We need to return to the original question of Why are we offering public education in the first place? We offer public education because our country is a democratic republic, built on the idea that every citizen has a voice or ability to make a change. Because we don't want our country run by naive or ignorant yuks, we need to educate them! Our goal in public education is to make them productive, thoughtful citizens, and that qualification can be met in every single occupation and career choice. We have to answer that call as teachers: our SUBJECT matter may not be the most important -- we have to USE the subject matter as a tool to teach problem-solving and critical thinking.

So we don't unintentionally widen the gap between economic class distinctions, we maintain a base liberal arts core curriculum- language arts, history, science, math- for either path. But then we need to question, what do the students on the tech path need to know that college may not and vice versa? So perhaps we maintain that core, but do some trimming for the tech path (like foreign language/fine arts), swapping them with classes that would be universal to the tech/career curriculum, like Owning a Small Business or I/O Psychology-Human Resources. Perhaps we could look at other countries in Europe and see what kind of classes & distinctions they offer for the wide variety of career & future options for The World After High School.

But that's just my opinion...what do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Agreed that not everyone has to go to college, though I do think that everyone should have the education to be able to go to college if they want to. Taking options like foreign language out of the tech/career path would worry me, as speaking another language (particularly Spanish) would be very helpful to most jobs.