It is time for ALL in education to state their beliefs. Education is saturated with interest groups; ranging from teacher unions, administrative associations, to non-profit think tanks, parent groups and for profit companies. ALL of us know we can do better. Most of these organizations have similar belief systems, but we are running parallel paths attempting to arrive at the same location. Our message often gets blurred in the public eyes. When we disagree, rhetoric takes over our focus and progress is stifled. Stakeholders need to start to work together for our students or our PUBLIC education system we know, value and cherish in American will crumble.
A few recent events have greatly impacted my thinking. First I saw the documentary Most Likely To Succeed, A must for ALL who care about education. It tells the story of what education SHOULD be instead of what it has turned into due to the unintended consequences of poor legislative policies.
Most Likely to Succeed Trailer from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.
If the trailer peaks your interest find a viewing near you. Next viewing in Michigan is at Fraser HS Oct. 29 6:30 PM where I will be to discuss a plan for the next steps in education. Second I attended the Association Of Middle Level Education Conference in Columbus Ohio. AMLE base all of their work on their core beliefs which are clearly written down in their position paper: This We Believe. The belief statement guide every session at the conference and all that their organization focuses their work. In a conversation with a friend while reflecting that Michigan and the USA lack a clear belief statement, a friend pointed me toward Alfie Kohn’s recent post: To Change What We Do, Consider What We Believe.
What do we collectively believe in education?
What if all the stakeholder groups could come together and clearly state OUR collective beliefs in education. Our beliefs for students, educations, and community and their roles in education. We might not all agree int he same path to the belief, but I am sure we COULD create a common, collaborative, extensive belief statement. Sure some of my readers are saying this is a mission statement that districts have. Our beliefs have more depth. This collective belief statement would guide our policies. ANY educational policy introduced would have to address a CORE COLLECTIVE belief, not just be on someones agenda.
HOW TO START: Write down our beliefs
We believe all students can learn. We believe they learn in different ways and at different rates. How do our policies reflect theses beliefs?
We believe that teachers should be highly skilled practitioners, the top of their class. Skilled and passionate about their profession. How do our funding policies make this happen?
We believe that community involvement in our schools will make them successful. In what ways is this encouraged by policy?
What are your beliefs? Please use form to add them so we can make a belief statement for education!