Monday, November 2, 2015

Joel Westheimer on Citizenship & Education.

Joel Westheimer will be in Red Deer on Thursday, November 5, 2015. Joel tweets here.

Register for this free event here.

Here are the highlights from this 8 minute video featuring Joel Westheimer discussing citizenship and education:

  • Students should be inspired to talk an active role in our democracy, taking an important place in history as more than an audience member.
  • Democracy is not a spectator sport -- it's a participative sport.
  • Schools should be more than job-training institutions.
  • If citizens are not well educated enough to govern their own affairs, the solution is not to take that power of governance away from them but to educate them. 
  • It is a popular trend for schools to focus less on critical and creative thinking and more on making sure that all students are learning the same thing.
  • There is a big difference between standardization and having high standards.
  • There are some unintended consequences with obsessing over higher standards.
  • We have to stop pretending that we can meet all student's needs by treating them all the same.
  • There are no teachers who do not want students to learn the "basics". 
  • Should schools just get back to basics? When did we ever leave?
  • The child who can read but chooses not to holds no advantage over the child who can't read.
  • We need to care about whether children want to read at least as much as whether they can read.
  • Standardization has become the tail that wags the education dog.
  • Just like how mandated sentences strips judgement from judges, so too does standardization deny teachers the ability to teach.
  • It is important to teach controversy in our schools. It is important that children understand that intelligent and successful adults disagree about important things.
  • We have to teach kids that intelligent, well-meaning adults differ on important matters of social concern.
  • Politics is how we come together as a democratic society to work together through our differences and make good decisions for us all. In that sense, we shouldn't get politics out of our schools, we need to get more politics in.

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