Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Dreams May Come.....

This morning, like most mornings, Zhen's mouth opens almost the same instant his eyes do. It is amazing to witness the rate of thought that a child has.

Again, like most mornings, he searches his mind to recall any dreams he might have had. And this morning his dream was on the tip of his tongue. He tells the story as follows:

"Mom, I had a dream about me and Barrack Obama last night!"

I come to sit on the edge of his bed, eager to hear this dream.

"Barrack Obama came to my school. He said he needed a partner. I was really scared that he was not going to pick me because I really wanted him to. He said he could only have one, not two, not three. And guess what?? He chose Me to be his partner"

Since we were all very engrossed in this last election, Zhen has really taken an interest in presidents. He has memorized the first 10. He can recognize a few just by sight in various settings and thanks in part to his Nana has an interest in the Civil War.

I have always felt that dreams come to us for reasons and now I find myself wondering what reason my almost 5 year old has for dreaming of presidents coming to ask him for partnership.

I guess we'll have to be patient and let time tell us.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Educational Structure

It is becoming critical that parents and educational leaders demand an approach to learning that shifts the focus from 19th century methods to approaches that truly address the 21st century opportunities of living and learning in a world with infinite challenges and possibilities.

It is no longer acceptable to procure an education that is driven by a mission to give its constituents "job skills". Going to school to get good grades so that you can get a good degree so you can get a good job and work real hard so that one day you can attain a hopeful and secure retirement is just not a real world formula any longer.

In a time when it appears that our government has defaulted on its promise to structure opportunity in the most beneficial way for its faithful citizenry, abusing the processes by which oversight and management of our shared wealth is used to advance the goals of the future, it becomes more important than ever that Individuals comprehend what is necessary and possible for our future... today.

The failure to educate a young mind is one of the most serious failures any advanced society can precipitate. Failure comes in all shapes in sizes, but in all of them is defined by the lack of fulfillment of available potential. Our current educational system is not being led with the mandate to truly educate the potential of our young minds, but instead is being utilized as a mechanism to deliver universal employment. No true revolution can come from within such a system, it must be innovated from without.

There are many examples of this kind of work being done around the world. The video below highlights just one such effort. It deserves attention, not as "THE" solution, but certainly as part of a solution that can radically change how young people learn effectively across the whole of our society.

One of the reasons that our son is in a Montessori-styled classroom is because of the self-led nature of personalized instruction afforded by this style of learning. Zhen is not being educated with "job skills" in mind as his goals. Instead he is being educated with "life skills" in mind as his highest priority. At all times, under all conditions, in every society around the world, the fidelity of the Individual life and the freedom that individuals possess to live a happy and healthy life based on intelligence and the opportunity for prosperity is the ultimate achievement. Living to learn so that one may learn to live produces the greatest chance of securing this outcome, however it may be conceived and defined.

The time has come to not only have an interest and say in how your child is educated, and managed as an educational asset of the society you exist within... the time has come for children and parents to stand up and demand their rights as the owners of their lives and the infrastructure that is afforded by their mere existence and participation. It is not acceptable to live in a society like modern day America, while receiving a sub-par education controlled by a mandate and goal that was created for a time that has passed. We educate for the future, by acknowledging the past and learning from it, so that we may create new outcomes and possibilities now... today.

Zhenerbee Farms Ledger