I think education should not be confined to public schools.
What I mean is that education should be carried out by all people at any economic level, and in diverse environments and settings. We should all have equal access to high quality information about learning methods and research skills, and there should be a space for us to explore this knowledge and learn how to become better learning guides, or coaches, for our children.
We need parent educators to become the norm.
District 300 is starting to rework it's old Parent University program, but we need more. My ultimate goal is to have a sort of community outreach and education center, a place where civic groups can meet and neighborhood education classes can be held.
Part of my approach to learning is that the best way to learn is to teach. This forces you to go from just simply knowing and understanding something, to being able to replicate the information clusters in another person's mind-- no easy task! I've found a lot of useful information that can be applied by anyone, and with very little training.
Within this community center, I can see the possibility of enacting something I want to work towards no matter if I'm on the County Board or not. I envision a place where classes for parents can be held, where, among other types of adult offerings like second-language classes, they can learn how to become actual learning coaches for their children. They can be taught the core insights from Mind, Braind, Education Science (read more here) and other sources, with the focus on applying the knowledge every day with their children, evolving their technique as their experience grows.
All of the pressure for education is placed upon teachers quite unfairly. We need parents to be able to take the children further and to give them the focused attention that teachers cannot. I would love to help develop a curriculum for parents, and a loose protocol for the teachers of this course. There could also be an offering of Youtube videos outlining key information as a community resource and a marketing tool.
I see a class like this making a big difference in people's lives.
We also have a need for civic education. Public schools have so many standards and mandates to honor, so it's not hard to imagine how something like an in-depth civics program is missing from virtually every school. Most people do not know the first steps in getting involved locally, and what good is civics in the US if it's not focused on local politics first?
That is the history of this country, an educated populace focused on numerous aspects of local government and keenly observant of national politics and procedure. We have lost that in the wave of industrialization that didn't prefer a richly educated population but rather it favored an efficient population that left little time to itself for questioning things. This must change, and it can be done at the local level, which includes County, Township, and Municipal government bodies.
There is enough wisdom in our districts to come up with a solution to this missing part in our education.