Life as Education and the Irony of School Reform
AbstractAlternative philosophies and forms of education – particularly those that blur the boundaries of time, space, and subject – have much to offer institutional schooling. Unfortunately, dominant reform movements in the United States advocate a simplistic, prescriptive form of schooling that relies on narrow notions of what it means to be educated and how to measure it. The constant upheaval of new programs and practices, while perhaps offering the appearance of reform, is ultimately counterproductive; the best schools cultivate a consistent, long-term vision for improvement based on relationships, consistency, and persistence. Efforts to provide a more individualized learning experience for students are praiseworthy, but should take care not to abandon the common school vision of cultivating a shared sense of the common good.
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