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Weekly Technology Diet

As the School Turns...

It's back to school time. The usual rush and panic. Not at our house. The only 'kid' left is my son, who is on his own. He still lives here, in his own little apartment in the basement, but he comes and goes as if he didn't life here. At 23, I think that's acceptable. I'm encouraging him to move out...but that won't happen until he finishes school - several years from now.

Ah, yes. School. This country has always prided itself on being up on education, but - what's the real Rosa_joyful_learning story? Where do we stand on this issue? Over at Talking Story, with Rosa Say's Ho'ohana Community, she's hosting a month long event on education, sort of. There are 27 guest authors on her blog in September - one for each day of the month (yes, I know September has 30 days, but...27 is a pretty good return on asking folks to guest post, don't you think?). The focus is on teaching and education. I'm posting on the 28th. I'll remind you.

With that in mind, it's interesting that I received an email from my local business journal yesterday showing that one of our universities, Nazareth, is revising its requirements and beginning a program of higher focus on science and technology aimed at girls.

I guess Lena would be happy to hear about that. Hope you're tuning in to her Technology Diet posts here on Lip-sticking.

I'm happy, too. But, a part of me wants to know WHY we have to refocus or revise - why hasn't this been a major part of the curriculum all along? WHY were girls getting the shaft in this area?

I don't have the answers. There's plenty of controversy. Even I wrote about this in a post not too long ago. In the end, isn't education vital to our economy? Isn't it vital to our well-being as citizens of the strongest, most prosperous country in the world? Isn't it vital to our ability to contribute to global care? It should be equal for all - not gender specific, not something that is provided according to race or income level. Education should be free and available to every child, no, every citizen in America.

Without the freedom, and ability (having a school near you with good teachers and administrators) to learn, we will slowly disintegrate as a society. Let's not let that happen. Support your school district. Teach your children to respect education. Give them books to read - and read with them. Limit their TV viewing. Limit their video game playing. Schedule their sports and outdoor activities to allow for free play - much education is gained when we're doing things we love.

I worry that America is getting too passe' about education. We worship the gods of celebrity - and watch reality TV and think those are relevant to real life, when they're not. They're entertainment. Nothing more.

What will you do this year to secure your children's education? Will you make sure your daughters are given the same opportunities as your sons, and vice-versa? Will you attend PTA meetings and school events? Will you insist on quality teachers - by making sure they have a good salary? Will you volunteer - even if it means extra time out of your busy life? Will you read with your children, every day?

If we all don't participate, I fear the dark shadow of ignorance that will settle over us. The worst thing about ignorance isn't that it exists - but that when it exists, it's often invisible. No one recognizes it or admits it. Silence will be our undoing.

Read to your children. Out loud.

Comments

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Lena L. West

Yvonne:

You're right, I AM glad to see this!

I'm not big on working with kids but, I thank God for people who do.

In the words of Tim Gunn:

Make it work!

-Lena

Marti

I am a veteran room mother, PTA member and field trip chaperone! I feel fortunate to live in a small community that has good parent participation with our schools. Excellent post!

Hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day!

On a lighter note, I posted some of the finest back to school whines - LOL

Steve Sherlock

Yvonne, good posting on a serious topic. No Child Left Behind attempted to do this. Unfortunately, like some other state programs (MA's comes immediately to mind) they are focusing on measurement instead enablng the environment. Now granted, in order to truly educate our youth, there needs to be a good home situation and that is not always the case. The learning in school needs to be reinforced at home, where it does, the youth will be successful. Where it does not get reinforced, it makes the youth's challenge all that much harder. Geoffrey Canada is doing good work by attacking the support structure with the Harlem Children's Project. More of these programs need to be effective to provide a good future for us all.

Keep up the good work! I am optimistic we will eventually succeed!

Rosa Say

Aloha Yvonne,
Thank you so much for chiming in on this very important issue: Your insights never fail to stoke my own fires again!

This morning, Blaine Collins and I continued a conversation started a few days ago on how "Learning Needs A Cool Factor" - if I may, here is a link to share, for I encourage your readers to join into this discussion with you here for your exceptional coaching:
(The link will be on my name with this comment: Be sure to read what Tim Milburn, who coaches in-college student leaders has to say.)

I love that you call for our involvement Yvonne: Whether we have children or not, this is also a call for redefining what citizenship means to us, and for the educational health of the societies in which we choose to live. You say it well - we simply CANNOT get too passe about education.
With my aloha,
Rosa

Oh! And thank you for calling attention to the forum too! Our guest authors - yes our, for you are in the 'ohana! - promise to inspire us all when it comes to their own learning lessons.
Aloha e, a hui hou.

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