Under Construction: Philosophy of Education

So, I’ve started another blog called OpenSkool where I am going to deposit my educational ideas/ resources. I know my politics may not be as popular as my ideas about schooling. Aw heck, I’m just a bleeding heart liberal that is too lefty for the mainstream. Just to prove that I am ADDish and stubborn I started it at blogspot and that is where it will stay, for now. The following entry is cross-posted there.

I’ve been asked during the course of my career as an educator to state my philosophy of education. It is currently getting a ‘make over’ due to the fact I’ve got a kiddo to educate. She’s four and showing all the signs that she’s ready for it to begin. So without further ado I present the foundation of my philosophy of education.

From Out of the Garden: Women Writers on the Bible-In Search of Pharaoh’s Daughter by Patricia J. Williams

Cultivating the extraordinary richness of what children offer us depends on neither a mother nor a father alone but is a responsibility that extends to grandparents, friends, neighbors, and civic community–across fences, across religion, across class, and across town.

Take Back Your Education by John Taylor Gatto

To know yourself, you have to keep track of your random choices, figure out your patterns, and use this knowledge to dominate your own mind. It’s the only way that free will can grow. If you avoid this, other minds will manipulate and control you lifelong.

I’ve made a folder that has each of these headings on the top:  three powers, three weaknesses, and  keeping track of kiddo’s choices. I’m going to start talking to Kiddo about my strengths and weaknesses and how I build upon them. She seems to be noticing how I think about this already, she told me that I wasn’t good at driving/ navigating. It’s one of my professed weaknesses.

Thus the foundation has been dug.

chaotic note

rethinking schools

protest songs: meaningful music

An Informed and Educated Electorate

Besides the dates of his birth and death, he chose to be remembered for three things that he did in his 83 years of life on earth:

Here Was Buried Thomas Jefferson

Author of the Declaration of American Independence

of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom

and Father of the University of Virginia

Writing the Declaration of Independence was an obvious choice, and declaring forever his opposition to integrating church and state also made sense (although it got him demoted in 2010 in schoolbooks in the state of Texas). But “Father of the University of Virginia” being more important than “President of the United States of America”?

Jefferson, it turns out, had this wacky idea. He actually believed that young people should be able to go to college regardless of their ability to pay, their station in life, and how rich or poor their parents were. He thought that an educated populace was the best defense of liberty and democracy in the new nation he’d helped birth.

So the University of Virginia that he started was free.

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