Our Children Get Education, Not Education
At educational conferences on school improvement, meetings and workshops everywhere, educators condemned the debilitating effects of the current obsession with testing. Education should be about bringing out the best in children – helping them develop their mind, body, and soul. Education comes from the Latin word educare, which means “bring”, which is related to educere, which means “bring out,” “bring up what is inside,” and “bring up potential,” and ducere, which means “to lead.” The test comes from the Latin word testum, which refers to the lid of a clay vessel, clay vessel or earthen pot. So, I conclude that the current state of education is more accurate “testucation”, a process in which “testucators” try to provide information or “testucate” their “testuees” to store information in pots with a lid.
Research shows that 85% of the information spent by their testucator on the testuee to prepare for the test is forgotten shortly after the test, and therefore is not useful for the testuee and, thus, for the community. It is not surprising that educators, everywhere the test is everywhere, are frustrated, exhausted and quit their jobs. Not only are they unable to realize their dreams of educating students, but they are also reduced to playing the role of robots providing useless information to children who are bored out of their minds.
It doesn’t have to be like this. If the teacher works collaboratively to educate students through inquiry-based transdisciplinary teaching and projects, students will excel in examinations and, more importantly, as students. By creating connections across disciplines, the teacher provides a context that allows students to understand and remember what they are learning because it fits in and expands what they know. Children like that kind of learning. They are natural inventors.
In addition, when teachers collaborate with each other, they experience the joy of working with coworkers and reduce the feeling of isolation that is so prevalent among teachers. The classroom may be the castle of the teachers, but they are more often like silos. In both cases, they can be a very quiet place. Make no mistake, working together requires a lot of hard work and devotion to become a team player. This is not for the faint of heart and a thousand times better than being an isolated examiner.
One more thing, it is almost impossible for teachers to create interesting and challenging learning environments without strong school leaders who are equally devoted to education and opposing education. School leaders need to go up to the plate and go to hit their teacher. They must create time and conditions for their faculties to plan together, and develop projects based on inquiry and transdisciplinary curriculum. I can tell you from experience, that when strong leaders build collaborative teaching teams dedicated to inquiry-based learning and projects, students excel in everything, teachers feel happy and satisfied, and parents are very happy.