Or maybe the more important question is what should education be?
Historically, the sole purpose of education was to transfer academic content as efficiently as possible, without much regard for the aspects of the student’s social, emotional and character development.
But I think most of us would agree from our school experiences, that fractions and physics were not actually what made the lasting impact on our lives. It was the other lessons we learned or didn’t learn in between the formal teaching time.
There is a phrase that we have been using at Countryside lately to try to put a succinct description of just what it is that we do here. And when we thought about it and looked at the many aspects of children’s development with which we are involved, we realized that school at Countryside is much more than an education conventionally defined. It is an internship to adulthood. The children’s days are filled with that in between time because they are only receiving direct instruction for a limited portion of their school time. The rest of the day, they are living life with all of its joys and delights, and with all of its unanticipated complications and challenges.
School is an opportunity not only to learn to read and write, but also to learn:
How to take initiative
- How to create community
- How to think divergently
- How to solve complex problems
- How to communicate respectfully
- How to hold oneself accountable
- How to have a goal and complete it
- How to recognize strengths and weaknesses
- How to strengthen weaknesses
- How to ask for help
These are the lessons that result in not only good students but exceptional adults.