I’d like to continue on the theme of how adult learning must find its way increasingly into our lives. Students simply must stay in school longer and learn at a higher rate than in the past. They must receive a high school diploma and achieve some level of post-secondary education.
But how has the public school system reacted to this change? My unfortunate conclusion is that they have not. When looking at the educational reforms at present, there seems to be a mostly hands-off approach for high school learning and beyond.
The focus by the U.S. Department of Education is to focus mostly on Pre-K. The idea is to get in more learning earlier, especially for students of low socio-economic circumstances. Students cannot fall behind. If they reach high school below their grade level in skills, it is “too late”. They cannot catch up.
I believe it is never too late, because anyone who is truly motivated can learn and at a high rate. That is not to say that everything shouldn’t be done to help students who fall behind. I think Pre-K and tutoring is a good idea. It is that this should not be the only remedy for improving public education.
More ways to motivate students in the later grades should be an equally if not more concerted focus for public education. And this motivation will come from adult learning principles, because adult learning is learning for a purpose. All older students need to know the purpose for their learning to stay sufficiently motivated.