Sunday, August 21, 2016

Necessary Change is Always Hard

...but it's worth it.

We've sat in our Adventist schools and worried about the changing commitment to Adventist Education.  We've studied  and surveyed the problem, still little has changed.  Our attention has been so focused on our "crisis" that we've been blinded to the larger problem of the education system.  Real education isn't happening as it should across North America.  Our higher test scores and higher graduation rates have hidden the problem in our own system, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Could our internal crisis be part of the larger problem in modern education?  Meaningful education requires deep understanding from the student; a willingness to explore and inquire about the world around them.  It requires a teacher willing to relinquish part of their control.  Information is no longer the currency of teachers and systems.  Too many students leave the education system with little wonder left and no comprehension of their place in the context of the world.

It's past time to face the truth, our system has been living on the glory of it's past.  Slowly surviving on the fumes of a revolution in education started with it's inception.  We've kept pieces of what made it great, but let go of the core belief that student's learn best not from tests and textbooks but from exploration and inquiry.  Our system didn't begin valuing the acquisition of knowledge.  Instead we placed ultimate value on the ability to use knowledge in the world around us.  We believed in action over theory.

We can find examples of great education still occurring throughout our system, but those are examples of great teachers acting despite the morass of the system as a whole.  The systems issues can not be laid at any one persons feet.  Systems over time always must fight and recreate themselves.

"When (the church) failed to continue the constructive work, which is centered largely in the education of the youth...internal dissension arose.  Their time was spent very largely in criticizing the views of their co-laborers who differed with them on some unimportant points of theology.  They paid much attention to doctrines, and spent the most of their energy in preserving orthodoxy.  They crystallized their doctrines into creeds; they ceased to develop, and lost the spirit of Christian Education, which was the oil for the their lamps...degenerating into dead orthodoxy, and opposing factions.” E.A. Sutherland 

This is not an "us vs. them" proposition, anyone can join! Good education is it's own best advertisement.  System wide change is too much and often looses any momentum because the energy needed to move the whole is too hard.  So real change, true revolution, must start with individuals.  Let's discuss what we can do to create change and save the system, one student, one classroom, one school at a time.

Join us this week to chat about what you are doing, what you want to do and how great educating students is!  You can share on Twitter (#teachSDA) or at teachSDA on Facebook.  We've got several articles to help provoke discussion and thoughts in this weeks Newsletter.

The revolution starts now, tag you're it!