This may be a while in the making. I’m still brainstorming, and I’m trying to figure out exactly how to say what I want in just a word or two. The idea here is that subjectivity is an important element in all judgements, and especially in testing students. I intend to change the face of American Education, one student, one teacher, one school at a time.
I believe we all need more freedom in deciding how we are to be educated, and we need a larger variety of resources at our fingertips– not in the sense that they are accessible, but in the sense that they are recognized by the community at large as being useful and good. Supporting the system that’s in place will only get us so far– we need to be creating and building our own systems, communities, and legacies– we need to build things so amazingly good, relatively stable, and adaptable–that put the individual at the heart of what we do, without ignoring or trampling on the needs of society as a whole– that these new systems and institutions crowd out the old by being so clearly superior, that the old system crumbles and gives way to the new.
We need more liberty in our schooling options. We need to recognize all schooling as such. In Utah, parents can send their children to high school for some classes, but homeschool them for the rest, effectively mixing and matching however works best for them. Public school needs to be there– not all parents can teach all subjects, but it needs to be more focused on community activity and real education, rather than some sort of socializing program meant to produce graduates in factory fashion. The system needs to be more flexible in many ways, and making homeschool mixable with public school is just one step, there are many more.
Back to testing– true mastery of a subject is shown by two things, in my opinion. The first is if one can clearly and carefully construct a paper about the subject. The second is if one can teach that subject to another. We need mentoring programs in our schools– programs that aren’t weekend getaways, but daily and weekly activities assisting other students in understanding material and concepts. We need our tests to focus more on the construction of questions and clear thought, than the memorizing of names, dates, and other information. These tests need to be subjective. Even in math, the skill of looking at a situation and defining the relationships of various pieces of the problem, and then constructing a formula receives very little attention, while drilling algebraic concepts that many of us go on to never use again is favored above all else. Maybe if we taught why math was important and how it can connect us to our world we’d see more people interested in going into mathematic-related fields, rather than plowing through calculus class so they can go on to become an accountant somewhere crunching numbers all day (nothing against accountants here– but the finance sector is pretty top-heavy here in the US, and it doesn’t actually produce anything– it’s really about providing a set of services– good ones, but perhaps overvalued at the expense of other things).
This has been a bit disorganized, but I hope you get a sense of the driving concepts and ideas here.
Below you will find various ideas for blog branding– feel free to suggest your own.
Suggestions and ideas include:
The Landlocked Philosopher – Submitted by my Brother -in-law.
The Gamut – Submitted by my Sister-in-law and her husband.
Polytical (amalgamation of Political and Analytical)
Educated Wannabe Cowboy
Tools for Subjective Judgement