Although a considerable degree of uniformity in what is taught and how it is taught is both necessary and good, our children do not give up all of their intellectual or human rights when they enter the formal school system. Learners should always be respected as unique individuals who deserve some measure of autonomy. The intellectual, aesthetic, emotional and social fulfillment of every child must absolutely be held as a core responsibility of everyone involved in the educational enterprise. As J. Zaccharias wrote, “Children come to school different and it is our job to make them more different.” This can absolutely be accomplished while at the same time ensuring that our schools provide a challenging, high-quality and coherent curriculum that will provide a focusing and integrating force in society. To press this point, schools should be about human development and not selection. It is regrettably true that a truly equal, democratic society in which all students have received the same life chances doesn’t exist and perhaps never shall. Yet I strongly feel it should be our goal as a society to attempt to at least ameliorate existing inequalities. Schools should never exacerbate social and economic divides. Look at the current situation across the nation and ask yourself if we are on the right path.

 

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