Education sets the stage for people’s lives. Every individual is unique; each bringing their own skills, abilities, experiences, beliefs, innate and learned behaviors, personalities, and outlook on life. Educational programs should support and foster each individual for who they are and seek to increase understanding and work toward self actualization, not only in the academic sphere, but also in the social, emotional, psychological, and physical spheres.
We need to foster more community and cooperation in our educational programs. Children and young people should be actively and meaningfully involved in building, developing and maintaining their schools and programs utilizing a democratic process, along with teachers, staff and other stakeholders of the program. Involvement needs to be of real consequence in order to have meaning and to lead to true investment and agency on the part of students.
Education in this world at this time in history requires experiencing first hand, or at the very least significant exposure to, a diverse community meaning children and young people from different races, classes, sexual orientation and gender identification, and abilities.
The organization of any educational program should be a bottom up approach–starting with the students. Having a true student centered approach is holistic in nature, touching on every aspect of operations and organization including start times, class and project lengths, when and how assessments are given, curriculum content, noise levels, food, nutrition and health, interruptions, transitions, the environment, and will include many other aspects of how a program is run.