In manufacturing parts from materials, we strive to create uniformity and consistency. In raising children, everyone knows within their home that their children are all unique with diverse interests, talents, and abilities.
Progressives largely view children as objects which can be acted upon and shaped to their specifications. For decades they have sought to create the perfect widget in education so they could take children and mold them into pieces ready to be fitted to the purpose for which they have planned. They have wanted to track children from birth into the workforce and now they have just about succeeded by implementing Common Core.
In February 2012, the Utah Education Network released a press release announcing the selection of Choice Solutions as the partner to implement the P20W database to track our children from pre-school, through college, and into the workforce. Marc Tucker’s dream of a cradle to grave system which he wrote to Hillary Clinton in 1992 is coming to fruition and we are jumping in with both feet thanks to bureaucrats who jump into federal money like it’s an inviting hot tub.
Someone sent me this article yesterday (One-Size Education Doesn’t Fit by Donald Devine) which goes back a step further to a 1989 National Governor’s Association meeting chaired by Bill Clinton where national standards were a major topic and eventually led to No Child Left Behind. Now Common Core promises to complete the circle by bringing national standards and assessments under the federal umbrella and store all our children’s personal information (including medical) in a near cradle-to-grave system of widget manufacturing. Children aren’t widgets! They aren’t things to be acted upon. They have free will and need a system that allows for them to work within their own personal capabilities and interests.
A radical idea to transform what kids learn in school by Marion Brady in the Washington Post
Educate for human variety not uniformity by Lynn Stoddard
We should be setting the bar high, but recognize the infinite variety within each child and allow for them to have an educational path that meets their needs and desires and allows them to achieve the goals and dreams they have.
If you are not familiar with the articles listed above, I strongly encourage you to at least browse through them to become familiar with the concepts.
2 thoughts on “Children are Unique”
There are two educational trends in our country today. One is the pull toward “student-centric education” as described by Clayton M. Christensen in his books “Disrupting Class . . .” and “The Innovative University . . .” It is marked by starfall.org for kids, the KhanAcademy.org where you “learn almost anything for free” and the recent announcement by Harvard and MIT to offer free online classes. It is the natural outgrown of technology and of the spirit and success of homeschooling. It moves us away from seat time and sameness and high expense. It represents the true innovative spirit of America.
The other movement is the polar opposite, the one-size-fits-all, cradle-to-grave, government monitoring and control of every detail of everyone’s life. It is not a sustainable, vibrant, happy lifestyle. It is not intended to be; it is the high-tech version of the ancient dream of tyrants for control of their “human resources.”
Most people are living in the space between the two, unaware of the possibilities of one or the danger of the other. Evil can be spun to sound good, but the more educated we become the more we can see the distinctions. That’s why we need to look carefully at Common Core.