Recently, I read a book on writing fiction just after watching curriculum discussions on an email list. As I read the author’s opinion on plotting, I made a connection to curriculum and to “education” in general: “You can package plot any number of ways, and the way you package it decides what number [of plots] you’ll end up with. There is no magic number, one or one million. … any enterprising person can find more, or find another way to package the concept and come out with a different number.”
That’s what I’ve been seeing on those email lists, I thought, a million ways of packaging.
No matter where we go, “education” is on people’s minds. You can’t get away from it. New homeschooling parents work to find the “best” program, while veteran homeschooling parents assemble next year’s schedule. Seriously-independent homeschooling parents keep a weather eye on government plans for “core” standards, while newspaper reporters and columnists write about test scores and their meaning, and the mystery of mastery. We hear about meeting benchmarks, raising bars, and holding students and teachers accountable as politicians make their fingers wag.
But, in all those educational haystacks where is the needle we all worry about? In my light-bulb moment while reading about plot, I scribbled a list of what I think “education” means in relation to teaching children.
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Copyright 2010, Valerie Bonham Moon