Tentative Speaker Topics
Here are some titles and brief snapshots.
Futures For Education
Exploring the dark cave of the classroom and how technology will change the way we think critically about how we live, work and play. P4+P4 combines ground-breaking ideas from medicine and education that highlight application of biological science to educational practices.
Teaching is NOT Enough
The impact of a teacher can be huge but teachers can't learn or provide their charges with the tools that are not in place. The placenta and the parent's status in a community are the first classroom and guide to the child's future. Professional teachers arrive late after important neurological development has already set the learning stage for a child.
Themes and content of textbooks are determined not by educators but by the marketplace. Experts write textbooks for their classes and publishers impose those textbooks on everyone by sheer forces of the marketplace. Textbooks are written for an audience that is refined by publishers for marketing efficiency. Better to sell 10,000 books in one sale than 1 book 10,000 times. Schools and school systems provide the big markets upon which textbook sales depend.
The Decade of Dependent Development is blocking the success of half of our public education students because they learn that their learning is limited. Young children are caught in a web of parental limitations that society does not ever adequately address. Educational reform begins with adult education about human development.
Extra Curricular All Day
Piano, dance and hockey can be every bit as important as algebra, history and Spanish. Why should we place one in the heart of the day and others at the end? There is plenty of philosophical and psychological foundation for assuring the primacy of child interest is asserted before mandatory curriculum and administrative convenience spoils a child's day.
Learning and Economics
Our body functions come first and foremost in our thinking about learning because learning is a system for survival and is essentially no different than the systems that control body temperature or hunger; feedback and feed forward rip open tools for both stability and change.
When Spirit Dies
Spirituality is embedded in life, so why do we insist on keeping it out of our schools? Religion not spirit is what we must keep out of schools in order to learn why secularism is essential to healthy community development. Evil is denial of spirit. Killing spirit is evil.
Making Sense of Schools
Social systems drive design but our systems are the unnatural products of an agricultural and an industrial age. In a digital age we are tied hand, foot and mind to a primitive way of doing the same old thing. Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is the perfect definition of insanity. It is possible that schools make no sense for education, democracy, science, an open society.
Stressful environments may be what the doctor ordered for some but those some are not all. We need to be very careful about differentiating responses and learning to base our reactions to behavior on stereotyped expectations based on age and grade in our schools.
Living in School
Is it really a great idea to force or mandate that children spend over a quarter of their lives before age 20 in a box? Confinement of children should be treated as a crime against humanity. Sitting at a desk is only useful for doing paperwork.