From the moment we are born, our brain wants to learn. We want to learn to crawl, to stand, to walk, to talk. We want to do so many things. We should never stop learning because the world never stops changing.
Here are some things we know from research that we should keep in mind as far as education.
- We learn differently.
- Investing in children’s early education more than repays the cost later on.
- Learning does not happen in a vacuum. Learning requires family, friends, and community.
- Not everyone wants to or needs to go to college.
- We can’t always predict the future.
- Americans are changing their careers more and more frequently because of technical and economic changes.
Here are three bits of advice that can guide us.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire
-- William Butler Yeats, Irish poet
The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education.
-- Martin Luther King, American leader
Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.
-- President Franklin D. Roosevelt
- As a society, we need to respect the idea of education and to value teachers.
- As a society, we need to respect all forms of honest work, including trades and skilled labor.
- Public schools, colleges, and universities must be fully funded as they will provide the bulk of education for our students for the foreseeable future.
- College does not work for everyone, so we need to increase and fully fund our professional and technical education opportunities and apprenticeship programs.
- We must not be afraid of new ideas in education as long as they provide students with essential skills to survive and thrive in the future.
With an unpredictable future, we must do the following:
- cultivate creativity and critical thinking as core essentials along with basic skills.
- learn to be lifelong learners so we can adapt to changing times.
- create an educational framework that allows us to retrain for different skills and jobs during our working lifetime.
- Since our life is a great journey into the future, we want to provide all people the tools to succeed.