My interest peaked before my options did. There were no geology units, in elementary school, that delved deeply enough for me. How I wish that we had a Discovery Channel then.
Kids are offered many samples of information with TV and the internet. It is exciting to think their blooming interests will have “vines” to grow on. Alert teachers and caregivers have avenues, to offer their prodigies, that were not available in my day. Kids are not getting smarter, their choices are better.
I am a big proponent of the Montessori method in education. Reading, writing and ‘rithmatic can be taught in combination with any interest. It is the interest that must guide the learning not the other way around.
That said, the key in our schools, revolves around small class sizes. In a perfect world, I’d like to see no more than 12 kids in one class.(Ideally, 8) The primary teacher must have an assistant too. Then,and only then, the kids would be able to explore and learn to their own “tune”. The teacher would have a better handle on classroom discipline and a familiar feeling for what makes each student “tick”.
Alas, theory is much easier than application. Home schooling is a very good alternative but unaffordable to most.
The Boy and Girl Scouts, as well as, 4H organizations are very helpful to our future scientists. If not for liability issues, I’m sure communities would offer playground camps in the summer. Individual citizens would be more inclined to offer instruction too. There are Beekeeping clubs, gardening groups, bird-watchers etc. who could share their knowledge and excitement for specializing.
This rant is just that, a rant of frustration. The US is not capitalizing on our young peoples’ interests at the peril of our future. Liability and lawsuits are ruining us. I don’t know how to fix it. I’d like to see big penalties for bogus lawsuits. BIG PENALTIES. I’d like our kids to play together without hearing,”I’ll sue you!” on the Kindergarten playground.
Those who really have grounds for lawsuits are equally injured in the environment of “easy money”.
I started this post with happiness and hope. Where it lead me was beyond my first consideration. I think I’ve stumbled upon our real crisis…anyone got ideas how to resolve it?
(Rounding up unethical lawyers and putting them together on a remote island just may be a good start. Ha!)