I woke up to an interesting blog post from Dr. Paul Thomas, an assistant Professor at Fruman.
His basic theme is that he doesn’t need everyone involved in making education better. He mentions government involvement, foundation involvement with a mention of the Gates Foundation and business involvement mentioning publishers such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill.
But what struck me most, was his focus on “I”. What “I don’t need as a teacher”. Now I have every confidence after having done some research on Dr. Thomas, that he is a dedicated and excellent teacher with clear focus on education as a discipline. He has taught high school for many years at a high school about 1/2 way between Atlanta and Charlotte. He now teaches at Furman, a university near that high school. Neither of these school I need to say represent a cross-section of the US education demographic.
My objective is not pick on Dr. Thomas. As I said, everything about this man says dedicated and excellent teacher. But here is my problem…
His article was about what he wants. If every educator and administrator in this country was Dr. Thomas, maybe things would be different. But they aren’t. If most students were the students that Dr. Thomas has experienced at Woodruff and Furman, then maybe the state of US education would be different. But they aren’t.
The government, foundations and corporations are not the problem alone. There are participants causing problems in these organizations as well as in the ranks of teachers, teachers unions and school administration. Similarly there are outstanding models of leadership in all of these groups.
I’m watching projects occurring outside out of United States (take a look at Turkey) and you’ll see a consolidated effort from the Ministry of Education (government) through business (Turkish Telecom) and the schools (teachers and adminstration).
“I” is not the right perspective. “We” and “our kids” are pretty much the focus… I know that in the end Dr. Thomas’s focus is on our kids but this must be a discussion of “us”, “we” and “our kids”…