For years now, I’ve struggled with finding a way to adequately explain all the things that I see wrong with how we handle education and what steps we could take to fix them. I don’t have to try anymore, because anyone who’s willing to read this paper by Michael Strong will pretty much know what I would have said if I were actually qualified to talk about it — and it’s clear that Strong is both qualified and passionate to talk about it.
This paper was published almost four years ago, but I never knew about it until the author gave me the link Monday. After suffering through dozens of mediocre articles and podcasts about education over the past decade or so, I have to say that this one is going to be my new starting point to recommend to people who are willing to read 23 pages of well-written and gripping prose. And — let’s be honest — if you don’t care enough to read just 23 pages, you don’t really care that much about education.
The thing that makes this paper so worthy of your time is that it’s not just about achieving better test scores, as many modern conservatives want. It’s not just about helping students develop as human beings, as many modern liberals want. It’s about integrating information, critical thinking skills, culture and more into something that can create better lives in the real world. And it’s this sort of properly integrated person who will take the lead in building the post-statist world I’ve been talking about. So I’ll shut up — if you’ll just go read this PDF now. It’s worth it.