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Why Should I Learn That?


What should be taught?
This has become an important question for me as the father of
an almost 2 year old child. The world of education is filled with
theories on what children need to learn and how best to teach
them. I think we can safely say that we want our children to end
up happy, healthy, well-adjusted, self-actualized, self-sufficient,
contributing members of the human community. The question is
how do we help them achieve these ends. In current terminology,
what are our learning outcomes?
I actually dislike the "learning outcomes approach" in general
because, among other things, it presumes that we can push the
right buttons in our students and they will automatically respond.
But, in reality learning is each individual's own responsibility and
what educators can do best is set the stage and create
supportive conditions for children to have the best chance of
learning and succeeding in their education. Ideally, educators
should be mentors.
But, even though there are problems with the outcomes approach
to education, it does make sense to ask what some general goals
should be for educating our children, whatever model we choose
to foster these goals. I think some of the most important goals
are as follows (I've placed the specific subjects from my
curriculum in parentheses that seem to support the specified
goal):
Creativity: The ability to be creative, in both one's personal as
well as professional life, is an important skill and one that too
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