Educational Wellness Seems Lost in North American Society – But We Can Get it Back – education

The personal philosophy of education, of the members of any society, is not something to be taken lightly. Do you have an opinion about how the public education system should work? Fifteen years ago, I was employed in a public, suburban high school that served grades 8 to 12 and as a result of that employment; I formed a very definite personal philosophy of education.   My belief is that the education system is failing and the parents, who depend on it the most, have become so disempowered, that it would take a major change in how people think about educational wellness to make any real change. The writing has been on the wall since the 1950s that things are not working that well.  Good stress management skills are learned very young in life. Because the public education system, most often, meets children, at the tender age of five or six, it has the best chance possible to teach young people, the life skills needed to function as well-balanced adults. Unfortunately, the school experience is often so negative and destructive that children today really don’t stand any chance. It’s time for real change.  Just like every other institution in society, the public education system served a valuable function at a particular time in history, but that philosophy of education is no longer serving our society. It has to change! We now know that educating groups of kids all at the same age in massive groups of 30 or more per class just doesn’t cut it. Something has to change!  This model came into use after WW2 when the population grew dramatically in a short amount of time. Schools had to make big adjustments to accommodate the increased numbers of students and it wasn’t long before children became little more than numbers in a cookie cutter education system.The system began to weaken and even though the system was being stretched thinner and thinner, the system still wasn’t interested in hearing your personal philosophy of education.  In the elementary classes, children still stayed with one teacher for the better part of each day but at the secondary level, the children were moved from class to class each hour like cattle on a cattle drive. Learning systems began to fail, drop out rates increased, violence and destructive behavior began to increase and today schools are some of the most dangerous places to send kids.Educational experts tried all kinds of things to fix the problem and when school-based solutions didn’t help, schools began dictating to parents how to raise their children. They began offering sex education; death education; and they began forcing families to put their, so called, ADD/ADHD children on Ritalin. Not only was your personal philosophy of education unimportant but now your parenting philosophy was being challenged as well.  When I attended high school, I had a mandatory reading list that included two well-known books-“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding and “1984” by George Orwell. The first book talked about the consequences of allowing a large group of same age, same gender children to be in charge of their own destiny. The results were not pretty. The second book discussed the effects on society when there is too much governmental interference and control. Again the picture was not particularly attractive. These two authors are considered by most to be some of the best writers of our time and yet we seem to have learned nothing from them. The individual parent’s personal philosophy of education is considered to be quite irrelevant as schools continue to dictate to families.  Will it ever change? Can it change? I like to think that we can put an end to this very destructive educational model. We do not need to be dictated to by governments and unions. We are capable of raising the bar for the public education system. Schools have the ability to change, but families have to demand it. Parents cannot and should not be replaced as the stewards of educational wellness in society. Educational wellness is far too important to allow it to fall into the hands of politically motivated people. We have to return the system to the way it began. It has to, once again, be about the kids.