What kind of schools do we want for our children today?



Do we want schools that teach children to obey rigid rules unquestionably and reproduce knowledge uncritically?  When there is a public outcry for a “back to the basics” approach, isn’t this what is being demanded?  Now ask the question: do you want your children to simply “fit in” to the world as it is?  Then there is another movement toward greater flexibility in schools - to prepare children to adapt to an ever-changing world.  Yet, ask yourself the question: do you want your children to simply adjust to the world as it evolves?

Instead of fitting in or adapting, what about transforming?  A mentor and good friend of mine, Fernanda Liberali, recently gave a very moving lecture on education for transformation.  During her lecture I was reminded of a impactful quote by Martin Luther King in which he warns us of the perils of fitting into or adjusting to the world around us.  I think it provides a lot of food for thought: 

“There are some things in our social system that I’m proud to be maladjusted to, and I cal upon you to be maladjusted to.  I never intend to adjust myself to the viciousness of lynch mobs; I never intend to become adjusted to the evils of segregation and discrimination; I never intend to become adjusted to the tragic inequalities of the economic system which will take necessity from the masses to give luxury to the classes; I never intend to become adjusted to the insanity’s of militarism, the self-defeating method of physical violence.  There are some things that I never intend to become adjusted to, and I call upon you to continue to be maladjusted (Martin Luther King).”


Image Source: MLK by Derek Russell 
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To transform education in order to move humanity forward to face the challenges of the 21st century, increasingly globalized world in a collaborative, creative, critical, connected and caring way.

The founder and primary contributor to Education for Contemporary Times is Sarah O. Weiler, long-time educator with a M.A. in Global Education from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Education at the prestigious Institute of Education at the University of London in the UK.
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