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On Educating for Human Greatness: Educating for Positive Human Diversity

Susan Notes:

Do you think things are hopeless? Then read this.

A Human Greatness group has been discussing how to "energize" the group and spread the message about humanistic education. Philip Kovacs, the founder of Educator Roundtable and The Petition calling for the end of NCLB, responded with some ideas of how he creates energy.

The important point here is that if the terrible state of affairs is to change, WE--each one of us--has to stand up and find ways to be part of the change. Silence is killing us.

1) I write op/eds for local papers discussing problems with and options to the standardized approach to education. The last one resulted in a sit down meeting with the curriculum coordinator at Hazel Green High School. We are discussing using human greatness as a pilot program with 9th graders. They will have (ideally) 2 hours a week (not a lot but a start) to study and prepare a project on any (reasonable) topic at the end of the semester.

Any one of you, or members of the social network could go to a local high school and talk about this. It is, after all, not rocket science, it is simply respecting humanity.

2) I spoke before the Chamber of Commerce on the need for identity and integrity in education. I argued that the path we are on was leading us nowhere, that the delivery model of education was a crime and that if we went found a doctor who practiced medicine based on ideas from the late 1800's, we would have him arrested. I showed a picture of leech to the audience, followed by a picture of a factory. These were community business leaders, and they loved what I had to say. The fact is, few progressive educators go to business and civic leaders to speak to them about alternatives to the status quo.

3) One of those business leaders runs a tutoring company that is making hundreds of thousands of dollars because of NCLB. He invited me out to lunch and we talked about how education should be. He's been paying me for consulting. I give presentations to his tutors about using human greatness as a method for helping children learn more about who they are and where they are going. Math tutoring is interest driven (one boy loves soccer, he's in 7th grade and learning how to determine where a soccer ball will land if kicked with a specific amount of force, this is one example of dozens).

4) I helped organize a university held conference on local education reform which will meet at the end of the month. I will discuss human greatness as a reform model that will reduce dropouts, improve teacher moral, and reduce dsitrict spending.

These are all things anyone can do, but they have to set the time and make it happen.

— Philip Kovacs
Educating for Human Greatness group


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