“Never let schooling interfere with your education”
– Mark Twain
The problem of education is not a new problem. It was present in Mark Twain’s time and it is now still present in the 21st century. How many Einstein’s have we lost in this mode? During my life I have the privilege to have had several educations, the one that was issued to me by the schools that I attended, the one that I sought out on my own when I found the one I was issued was lacking, and the one that came along with my role as a parent as I watched and participated in my children’s education. And, like most of you, I paid close attention, most of the time and came away with knowledge, ideas, opinions, and a perspective on the process. The most compelling perspective that I had and we probably all saferly agree on is that we can and must do better.
The educational system upon which we are building our future is inconsistent and inefficient and the result is that we quite literally waste a substantial number of our most valuable natural resources, our children.
When we do it well and there are many examples of this, we can deliver an outstanding education that understands the needs of the students, keeps them engaged and excited, and the results can be breathtaking. The tragedy of education is that, for most students, this is simply unavailable, and when we do it wrong, they can be irreversibly damaged and many will never recover. Our failure to do the best job possible with the education of all children everywhere has global implications.
We can and we must do better.