Choosing Our Childrens’ Educational Environment
The decision to change our children’s educational environment is a difficult and important one. What is most important when choosing a school or home learning environment for your child?
I used to share a comprehensive list of questions for parents to ask when visiting schools. No more. Parents are fully capable of formulating their own questions, unique to their children’s specific needs and their family culture.
Given the current turmoil in our country, it is my opinion that the single, most important, overarching philosophy I would look for is respect for ideas which differ and encouragement of deep explorations of “who/why/when/how/what.” As a parent responsible for raising thinking, responsible citizens, I would seek to find that philosophy in a school’s mission statement, in the curriculum, in staff, student and parent handbooks.
In every school I attended, including public elementary grade school, a private high school, colleges –-I experienced teachers who encouraged the exploration and respectful discussion of conflicting ideas. My co-students were from all socio-economic backgrounds, all major religions, countries from all over the world, all races, recent immigrants and “old” families, and a great diversity of cultures. With the exception of one professor, I never knew my teachers’ personal political beliefs.
I’m thankful for the kind of education I experienced, for all my life, wherever I’ve lived, I have met and made friends with people who are from a potpourri of cultures and ideas. (Hi Anne Bostroem, Nina Gabo, Betsy Patchett, Nathaniel Bacon, Chris Hetzel, Wai Wong, Eric Child, Sherry DiCristoforo, Janine Canada, Sarrah El Mahdi, Donna Shalala, Mimsy Bromley, Pamela Odede Mboya, Ghada Hashem, Doris Tannenbaum, Widad Sad El Din, Blanche White, Lillian Fletcher…).
What is most important to you?
by Parmalee Taff