Yes, true education reform remains the hot topic.
Education needs to be reconceptualized as “that which a human being requires to develop from birth to maturity”. That is such a different focus from the conventional conception of education as the transmission of data/facts.
All we can do, in this new understanding, is “to assist life”. What does this mean? : what does life “want” and how can we assist it? What does it mean to ask this question or to even think this way?
Life, all life, not just human life, wants to thrive. A basic element of biology is this: living things want to thrive. We see this everywhere in nature: the wildflower growing out of a rock face or through dried leaves in early spring; the instinct of animals that serve to protect or propagate. It would be wise to learn from nature – being a part of it. The secret is there for us to see, if only we’d turn our gaze to it.
Children are born ready to learn, to thrive. Our task is to clear the way and provide safety and security for this life to unfold. Nature knows what to do. We’ve learned about the nature-nurture dance, about the value of enriched environments. Let’s do that: prepare the environment that nature requires, then stand aside and let it work its magic.
This is what it means to “assist life”. It’s easier than we think. Nature is a lovely, beautiful, integrated and powerful system – let’s unleash it, respect it, honor it. Instead, conventional education has blindly and misguidedly tried to invent something that doesn’t need inventing. Education is a natural process if you conceive of it as life merely unfolding.
This is a different way to conceive of education and if there’s a chance for education, for children and for our world, we need more people to begin to come to this understanding. Montessori schools get this.