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Returning Education to Excellence
Marilyn Redmond, BA, CHT, IBRT -- Healing and Spiritual Growth Marilyn Redmond, BA, CHT, IBRT -- Healing and Spiritual Growth
Edgewood , WA
Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Marilyn Redmond

Education is being open-minded allowing individuals to be themselves. As a retired teacher in the state of Washington, I understand what an excellent education is. It is not about money, tests, or rigid teacher training; it is about a balanced philosophy for left and right brain creativity. Free thinkers do not accept tyranny, laws that deprive freedom, and thought control.

As a public school teacher with more than sixty years experience, I would like to explain about teaching. What is a real education? In the fifties, we taught to the needs of the student, and then it changed to the school district decided what we were to teach, followed by the state mandates, then the federal government had "No Child Left Behind".

Current philosophy has changed the learning of our children, again. Test scores are only a number given to the results of the performance by a student on a given day on a skill learned. To pigeonhole a student with a number and compare them to another person takes away the individuality of the student's unique abilities and talents. Only if they have the ability to be creative, intuitive, and offer ideas beyond the confined thinking of the times is there real education. 

The United States has departed from our pioneers in education: such as John Dewey, Jean Piaget, and Abraham Maslow. Today, tests shame the student for not passing. This stops many students from graduating, and continuing on in their educational dreams. The focus needs to be on what a student does well to encourage a student to keep inspired. To compare one student with another is not real.

 Friedrich Froebel (b.1782) was an important contributor to education through his theory on education. In America, education began with Horace Man (b.1796). 1 "Man gave equal attention to methods of teaching spelling and arithmetic, the importance of music in school, and the contentment of physical education to promote healthy living habits."

John Dewey (b.1859) adopted Froebel's principles in his experimental school at the University of Chicago. Their belief in "self-activity" and play were essential factors in child education. Dewey believed that human beings learn through a 'hands-on' approach. From Dewey's educational point of view, this means that students must interact with their environment in order to adapt and learn.

It is the current philosophy of teaching the students to think in a box for the test rather than encouraging them to think outside the box. Teachers need to assist a student in finding their own abilities while discovering learning is limitless. Even Bill Gates and Paul Allen were allowed to use class time to work/play on computers.  There is a movie, "Spare Parts, where the students were inspired and encouraged to think with their imaginations. They were winners as high school students, twice competing against the reigning victors, MIT.  A balanced curriculum creates the potential for grand outcomes and high self-esteem

A good teacher will drop out of the field because they are sensitive people. I was taught "success breeds success" in college classes for teachers' preparation. Recently, a college instructor supervising student teachers told me that her college students have problematic hoops and complicated challenges dictated from above that are almost impossible. Albert Einstein held that "Education is not the learning of facts; it's rather the training of the mind to think".

You cannot teach a teacher to think with his heart. Education is not teaching to fill a student with book learning. Left-brain thinking is all about learning to pass a written test. Without a balanced curriculum, there is a robot teacher teaching robot students.

With the changes of focus, creativity is discouraged because book learning and test readiness takes priority. Every grade has a test to pass and instruction for this test dominates the curriculum. When I taught school, there were four standardized tests spaced between grade school and high school. The teachers monitored the growth of each student in regards to subjects.

My class had been working in a math book that taught the principles of multiplication and division besides the tables for multiplication. When my class totally completed the section including two digit problems of the test accurately, the average ability expected of a third grade student in math changed, dramatically. The administration did not want to look like their school failed the standardized test for their grade level in math. 

The teacher were told to return to our prior math books that taught by rote learning and memorization. My teaching partner and I could not understand why the book that taught principles and not just memorizing were not allowed when the scores were outstanding. We were also denied acquiring spelling books that really taught spelling, after the teachers spent two years piloting several programs for a book that did the job. Education is not teaching to fill a student with book learning.

In addition, several teachers in my school had learned a program, The Slingerland Method. It included  reading, English, spelling, phonics, penmanship, art, physical education, and composition. It was teacher  Some of my first graders were reading at 5th and 6th grade level.  Instead of approving the method that surpassed the usual results in a year, the administration told us that we had to use textbooks so the Board of Education knew what page of the book we were on.

Did the inspiration from the hearts of the students leave, when prayer was removed from schools? When you remove prayer from school, the result is violence. Love is the basis of prayer. Sadly, with this not supported in the school people will act out from this missing. With a caring environment, there is productive, harmony atmosphere. Therefore accepting Maslow's peak experiences, transcending the individual ego brings a more advanced consciousness of peace and creativity. Our inner lives will promote insight and stimulation into higher consciousness of individual and original thinking.

Drugging students to comply with a left-brain curriculum is unscrupulous. They have talents the educational system is disregarding and their futures are damaged.  We learn from all students and allow them to have their own personality and individuality not forcing compliance preventing their contributions.

"Education is not the learning of facts; it's rather the training of the mind to think." Einstein Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn". That is the kind of teaching I was taught for student classroom learning in the university in the sixties. 

This week a friend told me that her daughter- in- law took a new teaching position where they would allow her to have hands on learning rather than just book learning. This offers hope for more real education.

Rev. Marilyn Redmond, BA. CHT, IBRT began teaching in 1961.Marilyn is a retired teacher from public schools (k-12), adult education, and college instructor. Marilyn currently is an award-winning international writer, columnist (2), speaker, consultant, and counselor. "To thine own self be true", is the best education we can teach   She encourages, "Excellence in Education".

Website: Angelicasgifts.comangelicasgifts.com, books: http://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Redmond/e/B0069WIKDC, 168 Lectures, interviews, and spiritual information on You Tube at   https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=marilyn+redmond&page=1   




Rev. Marilyn Redmond
Marilyn Redmond, BA, CHT, IBRT
Edgewood, WA