Springtime is a time of inspiration and for shaking off the cold of winter. As the daffodils push up through the dirt and faces its bud to the sunlight, I am thinking about how we can find a way to change education and make it accessible to even those who may not be traditional in whatever form that may be.
I was a non-traditional student, not because I didn't go directly to college after high school, but because I discovered the lounge and my financial support dried up. Good thing I chose to go to community college because of my unwillingness to take SATs or I would have cost my mom a mountain more money than the 18.35/credit hour and books. After that first year, I became a non-traditional student. I worked full time (McDonald's and as a drug treatment counselor) and started back again the following Fall taking US History with Mrs. Vines. Then I discovered that I could succeed in college and I could even get great grades. This was because Mrs. Vines made it clear if I put in the effort, she would work just as hard to help me succeed.
Today I was driving quite a distance and, as per usual, I was listening to podcasts and found a recurring theme of changing the education paradigm. This American Life shared a story about the differences between poor neighborhood public schools and high dollar private schools despite their being within 3 miles of one another. American Radio Works discussed UnRetirement where adults and seniors are continuing their educations to keep their skills, build new skills and become marketable well into retirement age. These two podcasts got me thinking... We are missing the mark in many ways.
There is so much more wrong but these are some clear examples that we might be able to fix with enough strength and courage of the right people in the right places.
I know that this turned out to be a really long blog post. Thanks to everyone who hung with me and read the whole thing. There are many problems to solve. We need to refuse to accept "that is the way we have always done it" and move toward, "how can we do it better?"
Caryn Morgan, corporate trainer, obtained her Masters Degree in Adult Education and Training