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Saturday, April 10, 2010

There is no one answer to how to educate a child. There may not be any answers.

The bad news is that there is no answer to how to best educate a child.

Every child is different. Every home context is different. The notion of "one path for education" is orders of magnitude more absurd than "everyone should drive the same kind of car."

It gets worse. Education is an incredibly young science, not yet out of its own adolescence. This is not the equivalence of physics, engineering, or biology. Educational theory makes economics look accurate.

And then it gets murkier still. Let's say it takes thirty years to get a rough feeling if the process used to raise a child was right. And let's also say the world fundamentally changes, even just in terms of technology and careers, about every ten years. You can see the problem.

Anyone who says they have the answer to the best way of raising children is lying. In fact, they probably want something from you.

The good news is that if you understand the bad news, you can avoid the charlatans with their over-confidence promises, detailed and inflexible processes, desire to eliminate competitive approaches, and their fear-peddling. Then, and only then, can you really begin.

1 comment:

  1. Agree.

    The pendulum swings in education and so kids are subjected to the fads of the day.

    When I was a kid it was "Open Classrooms" - 90 kids in one giant cathedral ceiling room with portable blackboards as walls - Yikes - not a good environment for me.

    But with common sense, attention to the individual and the really devoted teachers that I have had the pleasure to know there is hope.