That is a goal for education… yes, I want my kids to finish school and move out and find success as only they can define it. I don’t want them in my basement!
This was one of the messages from Dr. Yong Zhao’s presentation last week at the Region I Superintendent’s study group. Dr. Yong Zhao is an internationally known scholar, author, and speaker. His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education.
Although the goal of education to “keep my kids out of my basement” was said with humor, we all understood his message. Sometimes it is hard to define what we want out of our educational system. When we say we want our students to be successful, what does that mean? Dr. Zhao convinced me that promoting creative entrepreneurship can be a positive outcome, and may well happen, if we pay more attention to the child than the content. Mastering tests is all well and good. We want mastery. At the same time we need to build relationships, foster engaging and inquisitive study and promote growth. As I continue to think about what I want for Goochland school students (and for my own grandchildren) out of an education system, I am thinking about these three pillars: growth, relationships and engagement. We have been talking about this in our leadership team meetings since July. Dr. Yong Zhao reinforced this idea or ‘movement’ to go beyond test scores as a measure of our schools’ success.
I have asked a number of our GMS & GHS teachers to tell me what engagement looks like from their point of view. For me, this is not engagement devoid of content but rather engagement encouraged by the relationship the teacher has built with each child and engagement created with the purpose of fostering growth in student thinking, content knowledge and self-awareness. In the next few weeks, I will share in this blog what our secondary teachers have told me.