I am heartened to read in Business Week the results of a recent survey of 1500 chief executives, which I believe validates the need for many diverse educational paths for youth including the Rodney Dangerfield of educational pedagogies, “Unschooling”. Frank Kern, senior vice-president of IBM Global Business Services, reported in the May 10 edition, “What Chief Executives Really Want”…
There is compelling new evidence that CEOs’ priorities in this area are changing in important ways. According to a new survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value (NYSE: IBM – News), CEOs identify “creativity” as the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future.
Continue reading →
I believe we are approaching a developmental crossroads in the evolution of our human species, though we might be a little bit stuck and in need of some sort of inspirational push. With all the violent religious (and secular) fundamentalism in the past century, we need to come to a new covenant among more tolerant belief systems and traditions to accept “many paths”, acknowledging that your path through the transcending mysteries is just as appropriate for you as mine is for me. That is, as long as both of those paths follow a few basic principles, like the Golden Rule. Continue reading →
There has recently been a movement among national and state-level public education leaders towards creating and adopting national standards for English language arts and mathematics. Concern comes from the fact that American school youth don’t test as well on standardized language (English in our case) and math tests as their European and Asian peers. Even President Obama has jumped on that bandwagon. Continue reading →
American Educational Pioneer Horace Mann (1796-1859)
A Jehovah’s Witness comes to my door and tells me that there is only one way to find peace and salvation… through Jesus Christ the Lord. Arne Duncan comes on my TV telling me that every youth in America needs to follow one set of national standards for education, to achieve economic salvation of sorts. A noted journalism professor is interviewed by NPR saying that the decline of newspapers is robbing us of the ability to all read the same editorial at the same time so we as a country can all talk about it together.
In a world of now seven billion people, with any number of religions, languages, cultures, rich veins of varied wisdom, and exploding amounts of knowledge that can not even begin to be encompassed by any learning content standard, many of us still seem to long for the unity of the one path and the power of millions marching to the same command. When the all-powerful deity, enlightened leader or best-practice expert sounds the call, everyone should have the common grounding to understand and appreciate that it is time to march and answer that call. Continue reading →
This is a piece I wrote for Alternative Education Resource Organization magazine last fall that I realized I had never shared on my blog. From my experience with Unitarian-Universalist principles and world-view, there is an argument made that it is important to acknowledge that there are many valid spiritual paths in the world that should be honored inclusively. In this piece, I have applied that idea of “Many Paths” to youth development and education….
From our son Eric’s experience, the experience of many other families and youth we know or have read about, and the sobering statistic that up to 50% of our youth in our big city public school districts (including our son Eric) are not graduating from high school, I have come to the conclusion that the ubiquitous, “one size fits all” conventional instructional school does not, and cannot work for every youth, no matter how fully it is funded or how much it is “reformed”. Yet I have talked to plenty of youth who go to conventional schools, do very well, and enjoy going to school each day. I have attended John Lofton’s excellent workshops at AERO conferences where he makes a compelling case that many people in the African-American community believe strongly in the conventional instructional school, if fairly resourced, to be the best shot for their youth to have a chance to succeed. Continue reading →