“Will my daughter come out of this school with a love of learning?”
That’s my primary concern when it comes to my daughter’s education.
I have other concerns, but that’s the most important one.
I personally believe that people want to learn. They want to become more knowledgeable, more skilled, more creative, etc.
I know for a fact that all children are desperate to learn. They’re curiousity is fully evident and they soak everything in from the environment around them. Many children are able to walk, talk, read, write, etc. before they enter school.
Unfortunately that love of learning, that desire to constantly be learning, seems to fade in school for so many people. I know it did for me.
I don’t know what the world is going to look like once she leaves school, but I’m confident that the most valuable skill for her to have is an ability to learn new things and a desire to seek them out. I don’t want her to be intimidated by technical skills, such as programming. No matter what she decides to do with her life I want her to have the confidence and desire to learn what ever will be most beneficial to her goals.
I have many friends who have expressed to me an abstract desire to know how to program, but they’re so intimidated by the learning process that they don’t even try. Somewhere along the way learning stopped being fun for them. Learning became something that isn’t fun, but that you do to improve yourself. You need to use self-discipline and have a specific purpose in mind. You need to pay people to set goals for you and keep you from giving up.
So I’ll do my best to prevent my daughter from ever losing her love of learning. That may mean taking some dramatic steps (home schooling?), but I think it’s fundamentally important that she never look at learning as a chore, that she never be intimidated by the process, but rather truly enjoy the process and constantly seek it out.
My theory is that it’s not that hard to achieve this. You need to provide a lot of autonomy (she needs to be able to choose her own path and learn what she wants when she wants), but that can be influenced by making some things more interesting than others. You also need to provide support so that they don’t give up just because it’s hard.
It’s probably harder than that, but it’s an important goal, so I’m determined to figure it out. Unfortunately I’m fairly convinced at this point that most schools, with their focus on testing and their requirement that all students learn the same material at the same pace, will knock the love of learning right out of her.