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Austin, TX, United States
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

If I was in charge of Education.....

"Education is the foundation of a strong society. A Republic only truly works when the citizenry is educated and has the tools to make an informed decision. Those that neglect their education leave themselves open to being controlled by others." - Me

Josh’s 10 Principles of Education
  1. Tests are to evaluate where the student is at! They are not a measure of how smart the student is! Two types of testing.
    • The first is a “test of progression,” and will be given periodically to the student to determine which subjects to focus on.
    • The second is to test for “subject of study” level advancement and can be taken at anytime the student feels ready. Once you pass you move forward. Each “subject of study” is separate and will not hold the student back from advancing in another “subject of study.” Except where proficiency in one subject is need for another.
  2. Everyone is different in learning style and in learning speed. Age and time limits will not be set in stone. Teachers will insure that students progress in there studies and do not neglect areas of disinterest.
  3. Use of the  book “The 5th Discipline The Art & Practices of The Learning Organization” by author Peter M. Senge, and the works of Edward de Bono to be used to re-engage our youth with the ability to think for themselves and build institutions that last.
  4. Basics…. Basics…. Basics…. and emphasize organizational & research skills. You don’t have to memorize everything if you know where to find the info you need. Keep It Simple Silly (KISS) Teachers will keep this in mind and not over complicate the subjects being taught.
  5. Emphasize how the “subjects of study” are relevant and used in the real world; also, teach the students that there is a reason, a “Why,” a method to the madness if you will.
  6. Students need to be given a strong understanding of Social and Life Skills. It does the student no good to know lots of facts and information if the student doesn’t have the social skills to productively interact with society or the life skills to take care of them selves.
  7. A healthy lifestyle will be emphasized with stress management, meditation, nutrition and physical fitness.
  8. The Goal of the School system should be to turn students into life long learners: Not to make them think that when they graduate that they will have learned everything and no longer need to study.
  9. Parents and guardians should have a leading roll in their children’s education, so schools should be set up as a learning hub, and organized like a Community/Learning Center, with many different clubs, sports and physical activities; along with a Mentor/Tutor program. Teachers are there to provide structure and to point students toward answers, not to hold their hands and just tell them what is right. Along with a formal class room setting there should be support for homeschooling and access to physical labs and shop areas. To support all this learning software (will be developed) will be used keep track of progress; also, down-loadable text books to be used with Smart-Phones. This way the student can learn at anytime and from any situation.
  10. NO CENSORSHIP and NO ADVOCACY!!! Students will be given the tools to evaluate and decided for themselves. Teachers will not support or condemn any position, but deal in facts. Teachers will give both sides of any position, the good and bad. Students will have freedom of choice, and the ability to support or refute all forms of thought and be able to debate both sides of any position. Students will then be able to deal with new ideas by them selves and not have to rely on someone to tell them what is right and wrong. 
Curriculum (This is just a rough outline of how I think a school systems should be organized.)

Each subject of study and area of interest will be broken down into various levels of proficiency and will follow a designated curriculum, stating what information needs to be covered and what is to be learned. This will insure that the students get a thorough understanding of the subject mater. How the students learn and take in the information will be left up to the students and teachers.

Preschool (0-5/6 yrs.) Note: these age brackets are averages and not set in stone.
  • Focus will be on students developing learning skills and giving them a strong introduction to the things that will be taught in Primary School. (I have heard it said that we learn 95% of every thing we will ever know by the age of 5.)
  • Students only need to demonstrate a rudimentary understanding of the “subjects of study.”
The Core Subjects of Study: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Intro to “The 5th Discipline The Art & Practices of The Learning Organization,” and the works of Edward de Bono.
  2. Intro to English/Communication: ABC’s, Reading and Writing.
  3. Intro to Math: Addition/Subtraction, Multiplication/Division and Fraction.
  4. Intro to Ethics: Honesty, Integrity, responsibility for actions and that there are consequences for actions and inactions. Students will start building their own “Moral Code of Conduct.”
Other Subjects of Study: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Intro to the Sciences.
  2. Intro to All Languages: try to develop basic conversational skills, and root words.
  3. Intro to Health/Physical fitness: through Martial Arts/Self-Defense, Sports, Gymnastics, Nutrition. This will give the students the energy and stamina to do all that we ask.
  4. Intro to Critical Thinking Skills: Logic and Problem Solving using games and puzzles. (Edward de Bono)
  5. Intro to Social Skills: Communication, Conflict Resolution and Etiquette.
  6. Intro to Personal Responsibility.
  7. Intro to Emotional Self-evaluation and developing skills for dealing with disappointment.
  8. Intro to Stress Management and Meditation skills.
Primary School (6-11/12 yrs.)
  • Focus will be on giving students a strong foundation in the Basics of all the “Subjects of Studies.” (see principle #4)
  • Students will learn to organize information in a way that works for them.
  • Students will learn research skills. If you need to know something it helps to know where and how to look.
Core Subjects of Study: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basics of Edward de Bono's Thinking Course.
  2. Basics of “The 5th Discipline The Art & Practices of The Learning Organization.”
  3. Basics of Math: All Disciplines.
  4. Basics of English/Communication and Public Speaking.
  5. Basics of Ethics: Continue instilling the students with honesty, integrity, responsibility for actions/inaction and that there are consequences for those actions/inaction. The students will compare and contrast all the different moral codes, religious and philosophical, historical and modern. Then, the students will write-down their own moral code of conduct, and they will be responsible for living up to it.
Health/Physical Fitness: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic Martial Arts and SD for kids. (Focusing on discipline and avodance.)
  2. Basic Sports.
  3. Basic Gymnastics.
  4. Basic Nutrition and Exercise.
Life Skills: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic Social Skills: Communication, Conflict Resolution and Etiquette.
  2. Basic Stress Management and Meditation skills.
  3. Basic House Keeping skill: Cooking, Laundry and Budgeting/Paying Bills.
  4. Basic Economics, Organization , Goal Setting and Project Management skills.
  5. Basic Sex Education. (To be given at the parent’s discretion.)
    • Focus on respect for self and others.
    • Ways to take the class: Parent and student together, student alone and parents take a class then teach there own child.
Self-development skills: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic Critical Thinking: Logic and problem solving. (Edward de Bono's Thinking Hats)
  2. Basic Personal Responsibility and Anti-Victimhood: Let us not blame everyone else for the things that happen to us; especially if we are not actively working to improve our situation.
  3. Basic Emotional stability training through emotional self evaluation, impulse control and developing skills for dealing with disappointment: "You Can't Always Get What You Want" - the Roling Stones
Sciences: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Start with teaching the Scientific Method.
  2. Basic Biology.
  3. Basic Chemistry.
  4. Basic Physics.
  5. Basic Astronomy.
  6. Basic Geology.
Applied Math & Sciences: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic Engineering. (overview all disciplines.)
  2. Basic Construction/Architecture
Social Studies: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Basic History and Geography
  2. Basic Government: types and History.
  3. Basic Law Criminal & Civil Procedure: types and History.
  4. Basic Anthropology
  5. Basic Cultural Anthropology.
  6. Basic Archeology.
  7. Basics of Languages; Root words & History.
Religions & Philosophies:
  1. Basic tenants and beliefs of all Religions & Philosophies. No Advocacy (see principle #10.).
  2. Basics of how they influenced cultures and shaped World History.
School sponsored Groups & Clubs: (Not a completed list and can form others as needed.)
  1. The Performing Arts:
    • Drama.
    • Music.
    • Modeling. (like Fashion and Runway)
  2. The Arts:
    • Photography.
    • Painting.
    • Sculpture.
  3. The Culinary Arts: Cooking & Baking.
  4. Science.
  5. FFA. (Future Farmers of America.)
  6. Agriculture.
  7. Out-Door Adventure. (Go over the book “98.6° Keeping Your Ass a Live.”)
  8. News Paper.
  9. Computer A/V.
  10. Wood Shop.
  11. Auto-shop.
  12. Machine shop.
  13. Debate.
  14. Government.
  15. Business/Entrepreneurial.
  16. Sports. (Emphasize sportsmanship and student must play to win. Students must be able to deal with the disappointment of losing and the euphoria of winning)
Middle School (12-14/15 yrs.)
  • The focus will be to start to tie all the basics together, and to teach how the Basics relate to and can be used in the real world; also, this will be the time that the students will start to focus on their areas of interests.
  • Picking an area of interest will not be set in stone. The process will be fluid as students will change there minds. (Think Majors and minors in Colleges.)
  • Students will spend 1/4 their time studying the core subjects and the other 3/4 studying their area of interest/s.
The Core Subjects of Study: (Not a completed list.)
  1. The Complete works of Edward de Bono.
  2. “The 5th Discipline The Art & Practices of The Learning Organization”
  3. English/Communication: The ability to give and take in information is crucial to learning.
  4. All languages: root words & history. (Strive for conversational competency.)
  5. Math.: All Disciplines.
  6. History: "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." - Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
  7. Geography.
  8. Government: types and history.
  9. Law: types and history.
  10. Life Skills:
    • Social Skills: Communication, Conflict Resolution and Etiquette.
    • Stress Management and Meditation skills.
    • House Keeping skill: Cooking, Laundry and Budgeting/Paying Bills.
    • Economics, Organization and Project Management skills.
  11. Self-development skills:
    • Critical Thinking: Logic and problem solving.
    • Personal Responsibility and Anti-Victimhood.
    • Emotional stability training through emotional self evaluation, impulse control and developing skills for dealing with disappointment.
Areas of Interest: (Not a completed list.)
  1. History.
  2. Physical Fitness & Nutrition.
  3. The Performing Arts.
  4. The Arts.
  5. The Culinary Arts: Cooking & Baking.
  6. English, Communication, literature and creative writing.
  7. Sciences.
  8. Engineering and Construction.
  9. Applied Math & Sciences.
  10. Economics.
  11. Business & Entrepreneurial.
  12. R&D methodology. (Go over TRIZ: the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. Founded by: Genrikh Altshuller)
  13. Debate.
  14. Government
  15. Criminal Justice.
  16. Law: Constitutional, Business, Criminal & Civil Procedure.
  17. Journalism.
  18. Languages.
  19. Religion & Philosophies.
Groups & Clubs:
  • Continue with the school sponsored groups & clubs.
  • Have the students form their own groups and clubs around their area of interest.
High School (15- 17/18 yrs.)
  • The focus will be to take everything the student has learned and apply it to real world situations, by helping with starting there own small business, getting an internship with a company or field they want to work in, or getting a jumpstart on the College/ University courses; like, Pre-Med, Pre-Law, or other advanced courses of study.
Real World Prep:
  1. Help students apply their new knowledge by:
    • Having them start a small business in there area of interest.
    • Get an internship in an existing business in there area of interest.
    • Getting a jumpstart on College/University with College/University level courses.
  2. Set up partnerships and mentoring programs with the leaders of local music, modeling and entertainment agencies, business, hospitals, police, fire departments, governmental agencies (local state and federal) and non-profits/charities.
    • Students will apply for a mentor in their area of interest. The mentor will be there to answer question and guide them.
    • If students are talented, in the Performing Arts, help them get set up with an agent or agency.
    • If students are talented, in the Arts, help them get set up with a studio of there own.
    • If students are talented, in the Culinary Arts, help them get set up with a kitchen of there own.
  3. Additional Groups/clubs: (Not a completed list.)
    • JROTC
    • Jr. Peace Core
    • Jr. Army Core of Engineers (Start group if needed.)
    • Community Serves Groups
Colleges/Universities (18+ yrs.)
  • The focus of Colleges and Universities will be the teaching of highly specialized fields of study. Colleges and Universities should just focus on their fields of study, and should not have to re-teach the basics.
  • Along with R&D of their Fields of Study.
Schools of Higher learning: (Not a completed list.)
  1. Advanced higher mathematics.
  2. Physics.
  3. Engineering.
  4. Pre-Med. & Med. Schools.
  5. Pre-Law & Law Schools.
  6. Biology & Life Sciences.
  7. Business & Entrepreneurial.
  8. Journalism.
  9. The Arts.
  10. The Culinary Arts.
  11. The Performing Arts.

2 comments:

  1. Note to self: work in more of a focus on tinkering skills and shop.

    ReplyDelete