Transformative Education: What the Heck is That?

If you’re reading this post right now and trying to figure out what in the world this blog is about, then welcome! I have to admit at first I had no idea what I wanted to begin blogging about until I realized how passionate I am about education. That’s why Apples to Oranges was started and aims to inform and educate people (even me, still!) about why our current educational system needs a change and how we can make that change happen. I’m by no means an expert, but I have done some pretty extensive research into a way that our system can be bettered: through transformative education.

So what the heck is transformative education anyway? And why should you care? Well, I’d hope you care because you’re first, on here to learn more about transformative education or at least stumbled upon my page accidentally and have had your curiosity peaked enough to stay so far. Second, I would hope that you’d care because you understand that in order to provide our children with a better future in education and beyond, we need to fix the educational system that we’re working with now. (If you haven’t noticed, it isn’t working so well anymore; and a certain ahem “appointed secretary” doesn’t know jack squat about education.)

I know, I know—oh god, she went there. She’s one of those crazy people who thinks that she can “fix” the system. Well, yes, in fact I do. Although I’m realistic about the fact that it won’t happen overnight like everyone believes and thinks it will. Transformative education will take time to integrate into our society considering it is a multi-layered system incorporating everything from educational policy on a national level to dealing directly with local taxes and districts and how money is distributed amongst schools.

Again, I know, I know—she ‘s crazy to talk about policy and taxes. Stuff nobody wants to talk about, right? Well, too bad. In order to actually make a difference in our educational system we have to talk about even the toughest topics. Change doesn’t come easy, and it certainly doesn’t come without a fight. Honestly, I’m not going to sugar coat it for you—that won’t help anyone here. What I will do is be completely honest and give a little tough love to our system considering it needs it rather badly.

Back to the topic at hand though: what is transformative education? That’s honestly a tough question considering transformative education is made up of many parts that define it. However, if I’d have to give you a quick answer it’d be this: transformative education creates an educational system that is better for both students and educators by enacting project-based learning in all schools and taking away focus from standardized testing. That’s still rather long, but like I said transformative education is a rather complex, multi-faceted subject.

While this post is meant as more of an overview about what the heck I’ll be talking about all the time, future posts will be dedicated to specific topics that make up what transformative education is all about such as: project-based learning, No Child Left Behind (or rather, how getting rid of NCLB will help pave the way for transformative education), involved parents, and how local taxes effect the quality of education in districts.

Seems pretty extensive, right? It is, and that’s why it’s important to talk about the ways that transformative education can positively impact the education system. I won’t lie to you, not every aspect will be easy to implement—in fact most of it will be rather difficult. But, that’s the price we must pay in order to give our kids a better future in education. None of this is going to be easy, but I never said it would be, did I? No part of life is easy, and this is no exception.

People tend to stray away from the topics that aren’t quick fixes because they think it’ll take too long and be too complicated to deal with. Think of it this way though: if you have a bunch of potholes covering the road, do you continually patch up the potholes time after time, or do you pave the whole section of the road to prevent the potholes from coming back? I’d hope you would say that you’d pave that section of the road considering it’s the most efficient and cost effective way to fix the pothole problem. Sure, it’ll take a little longer and people will be upset for a while, but in the end it’s completely worth it and then you’re left with a nice looking road instead of those crummy patches that wear so easily and look terrible.

Same thing goes for transformative education. It’s not a quick fix, nor does it pretend to be, but in the end it’s the best solution for our education system if we truly want to make it better. It’s definitely different from what we’re doing now, which means we’ll have to make quite a few changes to the system. But wait! Don’t run away on me now, you’ve made it this far. I know change is always scary to talk about especially when we’re complacent with what we have and think it’s the best option, but if we’re being honest there’s absolutely no way that we cannot adapt to the times without making changes.

We adapted social media which was completely new, and look where we are now! We live in a world where we can find friends in an instant, talk to people half way around the world, and even share our own ideas and funny videos to others who are reading our posts. Social media was a completely new concept, yet we embraced it and it has taken us to the next level of communication. Transformative education is the same way. Scary at first, but when adapted will completely change our thoughts on education and the way that we teach our children.

If you’re still with me then bravo because I know this has been rather long. So I’ll leave you with one last thought. Do you want to send your children to school only to have them come home stressed out about memorizing facts for their next big test, or upset about not getting into college because their school didn’t have the resources for updated books and technology? Do you truly want your child to continue “learning” by having teachers lecture on and on to a third grade class who doesn’t have the attention span to concentrate long enough to even remotely grasp the material? I don’t.

So what will you choose to do about their future? It’s in your hands after all.

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