By Sam Burnham
I would like to call attention to an article posted this morning by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on their Get Schooled blog. The article puts a light on information from a research scholar on East Asian education. All of my life I've heard the comparisons between American education and that of Asia, particularly the Japanese in my youth.
The scholar, Cornelius N. Grove, speaks of one major difference between the two and that difference is a regular topic of discussion at ABG. According to Grove, the major difference is the roles parents play in the education of children. Rather than seeing the teachers as professional specialists hired to take on the entire task of educating children, Asian parents see teachers as highly respected resources. Teachers are a tolls that parents have to assist them in their task of educating their children.
As this next school year begins in Georgia, we need to be focused, as parents, on the education of our children. Here at the house, we have used our road trips, museum visits, cultural activities, and even conversations around the dinner table to guide the education of our boys and their teachers have often commented that they can tell that the boys' education is not limited to the schoolhouse. As parents, one of the most important roles we play is that of educator. And if we ever feel like we don't know enough to be educating the boys about a topic, then we find a way to learn more about it together.
When we do turn our children over to professional educators, we take an approach of a partnership. The teacher does not absolve us of our duties. Instead, the teacher is there to enhance our task, to improve our outcomes as educators. The success of our children depends on us, not the teacher. Even an inept teacher teamed with engaged parents can be successful. But even the greatest of teachers is fighting an uphill battle when not teamed up with parents who take the lead role in the education of their children.
Take a look at the AJC post linked in my opening paragraph and think on it for yourself. The future is in our hands.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire