Defending Public Schools - Vol. 3

Defending Public Schools - Vol. 3

Defending Public Schools - Vol. 3

Defending Public Schools - Vol. 3

Synopsis

Defending Public Schools addresses the historical, current, and future context of public schools in the United States. While the essays provide an overview of education and schooling issues, the overarching concern is that public schools are under attack and deserve to be defended.

Excerpt

As I reflect upon my learning experiences in galleries, theaters, museums, and community centers, I find myself relearning what many of us know but gradually disregard under societal pressures. Being in artistically rich environments, as spectators or creators, calls us into experiencing the world in meaningful, holistic ways. In these environments, I am offered a chance to be transported into a space and time that causes me to feel, perceive, move, and contemplate in ways ordinary experiences do not allow or encourage. Instead, I am thrust into the wholeness of my being. I am fully alive. My senses are recharged, my imagination is ignited, my emotions are revealed, and my soul unexpectedly finds meaning or questions previously held meanings. I am transformed, created, and/or re-created into a new being, fully present.

Whereas artistically rich environments call us to experience the fullness of our humanity, many other environments are often limited to, or defined by, narrow forms of understanding. Educational environments, and particularly public schools, often are caught between creating environments that stress narrowly defined notions of high academic achievement and those that stress realizing our full potential as human beings. In the former, less attention is often given to knowing through our bodies, emotions, and spirits than knowing through our minds. Testing and rankings are used to measure competencies, and, ultimately, one's abilities. In the latter, multiple forms of understanding are sought to appreciate and critically reflect upon our world. As such, learning assessments are based upon contextual features,

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