Academics VS Learning

What is a school supposed to offer our students?  Really stop and think for a little bit about that question before reading on.  Years ago school was designed and even advertised as a place people go to receive their academics.  If you look up the definition of academics on Dictionary.com you will find the following definitions:

1.  pertaining to areas of study that are not primarily vocational or applied, as the humanities or pure mathematics.

2. theoretical or hypothetical; not practical, realistic, or directly useful.

Today many schools are still operating in the same way.  Teachers deliver academics for students to receive and then regurgitate on tests to demonstrate they still remember hypothetical, non-practical, realistic, or even directly useful information.  No wonder our students are disengaged!

What would happen if every school began to focus on learning?  The definition of learning on Dictionary.com is:

1.  knowledge acquired by systematic study in any field of scholarly application.

2.  the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill

3.  the modification of behavior through practice, training, or experience.

Now those are some key terms I can get into.  How would schools need to change in order to support learning?  With learning comes application, and changing of behaviors.  What would happen if a school’s primary focus was to turn every student into a life-long learner?  I know we have to teach the Common Core.  What happens if the Core is not our primary focus, but instead is a tool we use to support students in becoming life-long learners?
If we as educators remain teachers and continue to be the keepers of all knowledge and deliver academics to our students we will never develop the large number of curious, risk taking, creative, problem solving learners we need in this world.  Instead we must become Facilitators of Learning and mold young learners back into their early childhood state of being curious, risk taking, creative, problem solvers.
The Core should not be our focus, instead it should be a tool we use to guide our learners into becoming the young adults we need to help not only them thrive, but the world as well.
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  1. #1 by Branden Oliver on June 12, 2015 - 10:05 am

    What if students were allowed to hand in writing assignments without focusing on their grammar, and instead focus on the area of inquiry? Teachers have not been taught to do this, so it may make them feel like they’ve learned incorrectly.

    The reason why we don’t correct texts, unless they’re WAY off, is because the human connection and understanding is more important than a word spelled correctly.

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