Home > Uncategorized > Zoe Weil Asks Us to Stop Fixing a Ladder that is Leaning Against the Wrong Wall and Re-Vision Public Education

Zoe Weil Asks Us to Stop Fixing a Ladder that is Leaning Against the Wrong Wall and Re-Vision Public Education

One of my favorite Stephen Covey quotes is “If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take is moving you in the wrong direction”. That quote came to mind when I read Zoe Weil’s Common Dreams post titled “What’s REALLY Wrong With– and How to Fix– Our Broken Education System“. Ms. Weil’s premise is this:

(E)ducation needs not only to be made fully equitable, but also to be re-imagined. Fundamentally, we are not yet preparing students for life and work in a technologically changing, globalized world, nor for a future in which much of life on Earth faces dire threats.

She then offers a list of areas where public education’s ladder is leaning against the wrong wall:

  • We’re teaching the wrong skills
  • We’re not engaging a sufficient number of students
  • Our standardized tests don’t measure the “…solution-based thinking skills that are so essential for their students and the world.”
  • We don’t explain the interconnected nature of the world
  • We overlook the reality that facts are unimportant since they are readily available
  • Students’ stress levels and true passions are overlooked
  • And last but not least: “It’s not just that so many schools aren’t succeeding at achieving their stated objectives; it’s that many of their stated objectives are no longer the right ones for today’s world.

And what is Ms. Weil’s hope for public education?

We need to embrace a bigger goal for schooling – to educate a generation of solution-based thinkers – and set our sights on answers to problems in education that are most meaningful to all students and their futures; that are truly helpful to the profession of teaching; and that are ultimately best for the world our children will soon be influencing.

In short, she is suggesting we need to find another wall to lean against.

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