Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Something to Keep in Mind for Educators

An op-ed in today's New York Times (or yesterday's, depending on where you live in the world), discussed the fantastic success of the Harlem Village Academies, charter schools in Harlem, New York. In order to improve test scores they focused on everything but the test. The actual quality of the education, educators and above all teaching students how to think, be passionate about education, and be good people.  In my trail of high schools I ended up in a boarding school that was passionately committed to educating the heart, hand and mind. Northfield Mount Hermon believed that without one, the others cannot truly succeed.

I wish more schools would keep those sort of principals in mind. Harlem Village Academies: rock on.


alecminiero said...

This is usually the problem these days...i'm curious about the hand part (you know i can't keep my mind from the gutter) but all this regurgitating and memorizing facts and figures that ultimately slip from our brains - going overseas/being in the melting pot of different cultures [this isn't anything different for us granted] i'm constantly embarrassed that other countries know more about us (US) than we do in tandem to their own systems etc.

Alex said...

The hand really came in contributing to the upkeep of the school. Despite being an elite boarding school, everyone did 4.5 hours of chores (historically more but less these days). Every semester you were assigned to a job, laundry, dishes, food prep, grounds keeping, dorm cleaning, farm work, library staff, etc. Even rich kids whose parents try to pay off the school so their kid could get out of it (sometimes offering millions) were refused. It was like...we'll take the money if you want but your kid still has to scrub dishes. It's important to educate people about community values, not shitting where you sleep, etc.