Monday, July 20, 2009

What is Educational Freedom?

In recent years I have been discouraged with the outcome of public school learning. There is too much emphasis on the end of year test. Teachers struggle to teach all the standards and that leaves little time to allow the students to learn them . One month before the test there is a review of all the most important standards. The teachers find that the students have forgotten much of what they learned at the beginning of the year because they never had the time to practice and really learn the task. This is not teaching.

I firmly believe that education needs to go back to the ways it was taught years ago, when students were given time to learn and work on projects at school. Projects help students use their knowledge in a different way that helps strengthen that knowledge. Involving the students in their learning is the best way to teach.

So what is educational freedom? It is allowing teachers to teach. That is, letting the professional educator determine what is needed for the students to learn. Each class is different. A teacher may need to slow down and reteach a lesson. Teachers need the freedom to teach until the lesson is learned. They need to be trusted that they know when to reteach and when to move on.