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Friday, April 30, 2010

In education, customization is important, like air is important

When people look back at the current industrial education model in twenty years, they will be dumbfounded by the lack of customization.

The truth is that children are much more diverse in make-up than adults. As time progresses, we will be discovering so many more ways that children can be different from each other. But just some initial ways include:

  • Facility with numbers.
  • Facility with words.
  • Facility with foreign languages.
  • Facility with music.
  • Facility with peers.
  • Facility with authority.
  • Tolerance for being separated from parents.
  • Tolerance for being separated from siblings.
  • Tolerance for being separated from home.
  • Effective discipline approach.
  • Effective motivational approaches.
  • Productivity when working alone.
  • Productivity when working with peers.
  • Need for exercise.
  • Need for movement when processing thoughts and ideas.
  • Need for sleep.
  • Need for food.
  • Need for aesthetically pleasing surroundings.
  • Need for social accord.
  • Time of day the person is most able to produce written work.
  • Time of day the person is most able to absorb new concepts.
  • Time of day to most accurately take tests.
  • Engaging situations used for examples.
This rule both seems the most self-evident, and also the rule most disregarded. Schools today tend to wish these differences didn't exist, and work hard to get rid of them. It is much more measurable and cost effective to employ just a few fundamental approaches to education. It mimics the factory on which it is based. But applying few education approaches necessarily means unbelievable tedium, ineffectiveness, and a sense of "being different" for all students.

There are some people who argue that students need to learn to conform to a single model so that they can "fit in." Instead, each student needs to figure out how to be his or her best in order to excel.

1 comment:

  1. Agree! And SO thankful for Unschooling...especially of the radical variety :)