Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Education core values

As expressed by a teacher.
All of these values are based on what I believe should be the driving force of education: the expression of unconditional love for all children.

*providing a kind and loving education for all children
*helping children have power over themselves
*helping children control and challenge their own thinking in disciplined and complex ways
*helping children influence their surroundings in direct and appropriate ways, who speak up to adults who listen and respond to the child’s wishes and concerns
*adults who listen and respond to children's wishes and concerns in an honest and direct way
*culturally relevant experiences and curriculum for children, where the values and cultures of families are a central part of the educational program
*family power and participation in the context of social and economic justice, working to end white supremacy and all other forms of oppression
*engaging, child-centered, developmentally appropriate and enriched environment where children have fun learning and experiencing life through loving social interactions, loving relationships, materials, activities and art literacy, music, visual and dramatic arts, historical knowledge and other forms of cultural knowledge and expression
*mathematical thinking, scientific inquiry and reasoning, complex ways of viewing the natural world, people, technology, processes and the other things around us
*a professional workplace that is free of harassment and other forms of oppression, that respects the views and differences between staff members, that is committed to moral values and to working together, that works collectively for the good of the children, and that pays its employees well
It would be extremely safe to say that standardized tests are not designed to quantify these values. Not only that, I think these values are very difficult ideas to even try to measure. How would you measure a kind and loving environment? How would you measure a developmentally appropriate environment?

Which leads me to ask: what would you be your core values in education? Any overlap? What would you add? What would you subtract?