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The first day of school, the last day of passionate curiosity

When children begin to speak they learn everything they need to ask a million questions.

Why is that like that?
What is that called?
Who is he?
How does it happen?

They ask questions because it gives them what they need most – knowledge. They are so passionate and curious and then one day they go to school. For many, this is the end of their curiosity and imagination. The first day of school, as exciting as it may seem, is the first day that questions have one answer, learning while playing is frowned upon and homework is hours upon hours each day.

It’s not the teachers. It’s not the students or parents. It’s not even the administrators or government. It’s the system that needs to be refreshed.

For the last 150 years, school was designed to teach children to listen to what their teacher says and memorize it. Over the last few decades as standardized tests have become the numbers that matter most, students have been doing whatever it takes to get scores “perfect”. This means memorization and test taking skills are what make or break your education career.

I have students staying up until 3AM in the first week of school in order to keep up with the heavy demands of homework and tests. As a music educator hearing this from talented and hard-working students, I can’t believe this is how things have become.

Why can’t students choose what they learn if they are up until 3AM doing it?

Is this the education system that develops the best creators and leaders of tomorrow?

JT

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