EDUCATING FOR THE FUTURE: OUR WELL-BEING DEPENDS ON IT

So, for a while, I have been concerned about the link between education (primarily pre-K — 12) and healthcare. Bottom line: if children are not well (physically or emotionally), they cannot learn effectively. Maslow got this right. No matter how good the teacher or reading program, a hungry homeless first grader will struggle to read.

These observations were reinforced when I recently visited an elementary school in Anacostia, DC. In all six classrooms I visited (where I also taught), at least one child was asleep. Yes, asleep. Some had their heads down on their desks. Others were sitting but their eyes were closed. One was leaning on a teacher’s shoulder.

We need to look into the mirror more and see what is happening. And we need to be educating our children for the future — to be sure an uncertain future in which jobs and lifestyles and leisure time and family structure and healthcare delivery will all be changed. If we are only educating as we have done in the past or are simply teaching in the present, we are making grave errors.

How we change what we are doing is no small task. I hope this co-authored article with Marc Wine provides some insights. Comments welcome. Time it is a wastin’.

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