Utne Reader Project June 1998

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Utne Reader Project June, 1998

-- Anonymous, November 04, 1998


Learning is the Key of Life John Spayde, June 1998 I share some of the same philosophies of learn as the author does. I found the article amusing especially because of the push the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning (CFL) for reform of education through the implementation of the Graduation Standard. The Minn. Dept. of CFL believed that education should move away from seat time and recalling facts to earn credit to practical application was a better form of learning. As a classroom teacher, we have been overwhelmed by the new standards that are needed to graduate. I do believe that change is good, but manner in which we are asked to have our students learn and the way we are recording this accomplishment has me doubting the validity of the new method.

I agree with Utne Reader contributing editor that learning and to be educated is about class and power. I agree that a persons formal education is an attitude of empowerment. An example of that is in our educational system an administrator often times doesnt have the best ability and skills to be an administrator but was able to continue to earn the needed credits to get the licenser. Often times they are the farthest removed students needs.

I also believe that learning is intrinsic. Spayde claims that you can learn what is needed to know, and that people cannot learn what they do not love. When I have a passion and excitement about something it is self motivating to me to learn as much as I can about it in every method available to me. It is demonstrated to me by his statement that the whole worlds a classroom and to really make it one, first thing is to believe it is.

I also enjoyed his reference to it is an enormous error to believe that technology can somehow be the content of education. The computer initially to me was a word processor. I was told and read about the information highway and it meant nothing. Now, with the connection to the Internet, the computer provides me a resource for obtaining information on any subject. It is a useful tool. But we still need that passion of learning to utilize it. I am in the same opinion of my collages. The State Dept of CFL can impose what ever they want to help them measure learning but it comes down to the intrinsic desire of each learner sparked by a teacher to bring out the passion and desires needed to prepare them for tomorrows world. To quote from the article, enliven the mind and be alert to what is in the world around you. In conclusion, as the article ended, And the joy!

-- Anonymous, November 11, 1998

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