How can we best help students? Cultivate their love for learning. | John Hardin

How can we best help students? Cultivate their love for learning. | John Hardin

A fun exercise is to ask someone when was
a time when you were really passionate, when you were just super fired up about learning. When you couldn’t stop. You stayed up late at night because you had
to learn more about something. For me it was the time that stands out was
the first time that I did some public speaking. I didn’t want to do it. I was sort of peer pressured into it. I refused. They got me to do it and there I am standing
there with my little manuscript with hundreds of people looking at me. My hands are shaking and I started speaking
and for me it was this just like eureka moment. It was crazy. I loved it and it felt natural. And so I immediately just poured myself into
how can I become a better public speaker. Or what are the opportunities to do that. What does it look like to teach? How do you get involved in teaching? I want to help to transfer information and
share information with people. I asked my wife this question the other day
and her mom was a schoolteacher. And so she would have to hang out in the library
while her mom was finishing up schoolwork. She was reading a magazine and came across
this article about an Ebola outbreak and she just thought it was fascinating. And so she just went on to read all these
medical textbooks. She bought the encyclopedia of communicable
diseases, carried it with her everywhere and she’s just a kid, right. It’s crazy. And she still has it. But she was so passionate about it. So if you think about for you what was that
time or you ask somebody else that question I think what we find is there’s these common
threads that run through it all. That it’s something that you’re passionate
about. It’s something that connects with you. It’s relevant to you. It has meaning to you and that’s where that
love of learning really sparks and begins to grow. And so the question then is how do we help
our kids. I mean as a dad that’s one of the biggest
things on my mind. It’s one of the greatest gifts I could give
my kids is help them cultivate a love for learning. And to do that what I’ve got to do is help
them understand themselves. Help them connect with what they’re passionate
about and then build out the experiences and the knowledge around them so that they can
explore and learn more. And then I’ve got to partner with educators
and teachers and others so that in our education process it’s not just me as a dad but we’re
all working together to help kids cultivate that spark, that love of learning. Because I can’t think of much that’s better
than that that we could give to our kids. it’s interesting that if you went to school
in this country, if you went to school in the U.S. then it’s very, very likely that
you and I went through the same sort of school process. Because for the most part we all did. We all went in this country went through the
same schooling. So then the question is well why is that. Well we have to look at the history of education
to understand it a little bit. Schools began to develop in the colonies in
1630 and really started in Massachusetts. By the late nineteenth century, by the end
of the 1800s you had schools that had popped up all across the country and you had this
incredible diversity of philosophies and formats in education. So, of course then one of the concerns became
well how do we ensure that every student has the same opportunity and that every student
gets the same quality of education. That’s a valid concern. It’s a really important question. The National Education Association actually
convened in 1892 what’s called the Committee of Ten. It was this committee of ten leaders in education. Most of them were presidents of colleges and
universities. It was chaired by Charles Eliot who was the
president of Harvard University. And the charge before this committee was to
really develop or to create a sort of uniform roadmap for how to do school. So they met with subcommittees and they produced
this report in 1893 that really laid out this format for school. If you think about what your school experience
was like and I think about what my school experience was like you probably had eight
years of primary education. You probably had four years of secondary education. You probably went to school nine months out
of the year from about eight o’clock to three o’clock, five days a week. You took a very specific sort of linear progression
in English and math, probably 60 minute sections on each subject. In high school you probably took a year of
biology, you took a year of chemistry, you had a year or two of foreign language. That is in a sense the framework that was
laid out in 1893 for what school should look like. In fact, the recommendation of the committee,
they unanimously agreed that every subject should be taught to every student in the same
way and to the same extent regardless of destination. So in other words every subject should be
taught in the same way and to the same extent. It doesn’t matter where kids are going or
where they’re at. That’s how we approach education. The challenge of course there is that every
kid is not the same. Every kid is different. And so we find ourselves today still with
that same approach in education. This sort of uniform system approach that
does not really take into account the unique interests, the unique skills of each kid.

Let's start with making ignorance unacceptable and education affordable. Learning is self fulfilling and replicates itself. Get rid of Betsy DeVos and the dumbing down culture that she brought with her.


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