Yes, I said superior.
I find a pile of faults in the statistics that compare countries to one another in student proficiency so making the argument that our schools are inferior is a crock. But that is another post.
What I do find alarming, is our shift into the realm of excessive homework and teaching to the test all in the sake of competing with another country for “students proficiency”.
Who cares? No really. Who cares? Or a better question might be, why care?
We should be caring about what our students are learning as a whole and more importantly what kind of creative thinkers we have roaming about our society.
Lack of creativity stifles innovation which are key to the growth our society.
Heck, do you want the doctor that only goes by the book and gives up on your diagnosis when it doesn’t fit the book definition of an illness? How about the tech employee who only knows how to code in one language and doesn’t care about advancing your product? What about the student who no longer joins band because he/she had to focus more on Math and we lost a great musician?
I bet if you look back at our greatest innovators and creative thought leaders, you cannot tell me how their scores compared to their peers in Finland. Why? Because it didn’t matter.
They were great thinkers.
They were allowed to be creative.
They were allowed to try and fail as failing was part of learning.
They weren’t stuck in an endless week after week cycle of preparing for tests and three hours of homework a night all in the sake of making some data look good.
As we look to our new standards for education and how we “teach” our children, let’s remember this.
Learning is important. More than anything though, how we engage our student’s creativity is critical to what our next batch of citizens achieve.