Scott McLeod is dreaming bigger for Iowa education and asks “What would you add to (or remove from) this list?”
If I had an Iowa education dream list, it wouldn’t look much like McLeod’s.
It might . . .
start with adequate funding (though McLeod, no doubt, supports adequate funding!).
include orchestra/strings performance music programs offered in all districts, starting no later than fourth grade. Although if we’re dreaming bigger, why not start in first grade?
include more time and money for art, music, theater, language, and shop classes.
include more than fifteen minutes for lunch and more, rather than less, time for recess for elementary age students.
include ending the use of calculators in almost all K-12 math and science courses.
include valuing expertise and the acquisition of knowledge such that teachers could teach instead of facilitate, studying would be at least as valued as doing (I’d like to never again hear studying/learning/reading mocked or devalued as “consuming” set in opposition to “creating”), and studying stops being labeled as somehow “inauthentic” or “not real world” (we all have to start somewhere right?).
include valuing the conversations to be had with the people in our own classrooms. I find pictures of classrooms with everyone staring at their own screens to be sad rather than inspiring.
end with preK-12 Montessori programs for every Iowa student who wants it, as long as we’re dreaming bigger.
As for what I’d remove from McLeod’s list? At the very least, I’d remove invitations for businesses and business organizations to have an outsize role in setting the direction for Iowa schools (items C and Q). K-12 education as job training is as sad as K-12 education as standardized test preparation.