There seems to be widespread lingering confusion on this point.
What is important – going to school or learning? And why would this question puzzle some folks – because it would and will. Isn’t school where you go for learning? But this is just the point, schools are about grades, rules, conformity and some remembering, but too often little learning takes place.
A while back Seth Godin wrote this:
Should this be about school or about learning?
School was the big thing for a long time. School is tests and credits and notetaking and meeting standards. Learning, on the other hand, is ‘getting it’. It’s the conceptual breakthrough that permits the student to understand it then move on to something else. Learning doesn’t care about workbooks or long checklists.
For a while, smart people thought that school was organized to encourage learning. For a long time, though, people in the know have realized that they are fundamentally different activities.
He gets it.
“Getting it” is what matters. But not enough students are getting it and not enough schools focus on this – that’s why the education crisis is exploding today. That’s why charter schools and independent schools are growing, though, sadly the vast majority of these are mere variants of the traditional model and still haven’t figured out how to allow learning to happen. That there’s an effort, though, tells us that there’s a lot of scurrying around looking for new solutions for a broken system. Just because they don’t know how to repair the system doesn’t mean they don’t know it’s broken.