My vision for the next generation of schools is a system built on trust, freedom to explore, and teachers that show that they actually care about their students. This would be a system where testing is replaced with making a difference, classrooms would be replaced with explorations, and textbooks would be replaced by networking.
Education is not only for students, but should be about students. However, much of the way that decisions are made in education systems have nothing to do with the benefit of the students. Most of the time, the priority of decisions in education is about what would benefit the school, regardless of whether or not it benefits the students. And because of the way that the system shuffles and pushes student priorities aside to build the school brand, students are trained to simply listen to what the institution tells them in order to receive a mark of credibility from the system.
In order to bring reconciliation to such a problem in education, students must realize their voices and speak up when they are being treated as cogs. It’s nearly impossible to bring inspiring academic education to students when their basic human needs are not met. Every human has a need for relationship, trust, communication, and love. And just as companies and marketers are realizing that sales are very much an emotional decision, schools need to realize that education is also very much an emotional process.The time that students spend in school should be respected, and their voices should be heard.
Motivating students to succeed means more than simply giving them a reason to study. Students need to know that they matter. But it’s difficult for students to feel like they matter when they don’t have a voice. For too long, schools have been run on a one way street where teachers speak to students. But in order to foster healthy communication and a shift in academia, we must give students the opportunity to respond.
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