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The Power of Why

Posted September 11, 2012 in Community Blogs, Urbandale

While two year olds do it incessantly, asking “why” is a powerful tool to uncover purpose.  “Why” is an important question that every school and school district should be able to answer with regard to the purpose of its existence and how it functions.  The answer to “why” should be the foundation for meaning and purpose in our schools.

Martin Luther King Jr. did not say, “I have a plan.”  Rather, he said, “I have a dream.”  This dream was the “why” that drove the movement to transform civil rights in our country.  Likewise, answering the deeper “why” can be the beginning of systemic transformation for our schools.  However, we must be willing to ask the question; for transformation needs a purpose; one that captures the imagination and fuels the passion of students, parents, and educators.

Our current system of education was created 150 years ago at the beginning of the industrial revolution.  Schools and school systems, designed like factories, were meant to prepare its learners to join a much different workforce and society than today.  In terms of those needs, the system performed well.

However, we live in a time much different than what existed 150 years ago.  Yet, despite the time difference, our educational system, by in large, remains much the same.  That said, I ask you to consider the following:

Do you believe our current system prepares our children for a future yet to unfold?

Do you believe our current system inspires students by helping them to find meaning and relevance in what they learn and joy in how they learn?

If so, then read no further.  If not, consider the notion of a systemic transformation for education – one that fundamentally changes and improves education at its very core, beginning with one most important question:  “Why?”





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