Friday, July 10, 2009

Schools becoming learning institutions

With the experiment of making schools "a one size fits all" solution for society's juvenile justice problems finally noted as a failure, schools are again focusing on their primary role - that is of teaching and learning.

Keeping students in school to reduce unemployment figures and reduce pressure on the justice system just lumps pressure on the education system. Teachers that enjoy teaching are rare enough, teachers that can enjoy teaching and teach the "unteachables" are worth their weight in gold. To expect all teachers to have this ability is to invite the burnout and low morale that teaching (as a profession) faces.

Here is an article on the education system pushing back on other sectors of the community.

We have to be careful not to push back too far.. or if we do, ensure that troubled kids have a path to some form of success. To fail in this regard is to invite youth to lives of drugs, crime, homelessness and other forms of antisocial behaviour. School has its place - that of a learning environment and once the system (justice, community services/youth work, adult education, health, local government) has positioned a dysfunctional youth into the mindset of being a student - then and only then does a school have a part to play in supporting the newly found learner - this is social justice - not keeping them in school to disrupt the ability of others to learn.

School needs to be a privilege not a right. A privilege available to all, that can be lost, and only regained through a level of trust and forgiveness between all parties. We need to reconsider the purpose of schools in the community. It's the only way.

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