Today on the Review, we’re going to take a look at our educational system, both from a broad national and statewide perspective, and up close and personal at some interesting things happening locally. It’s a big topic, so, let’s get started with a look at the broad picture.
Author, Educator and Activist Parker Palmer is a nationally recognized leader in the field of education. His Courage to Teach seminars have assisted over 30,000 teachers to re-energize and revitalize their creativity and their commitment to the profession. Palmer spoke with the Kickapoo Review’s Rena Medow about the purpose of education and about the issues with and potential solutions to the challenges our educational system faces today.
A particular interest of the Kickapoo Review’s Prudence Tippins has been to collect perspectives on education from the point of view of the direct consumers of education, the students. In connection with today’s edition of the Review, she spoke with two local high school students, Corin Humphrey and Kevin Whited-Ford. The interview touched on some of the same issues that Parker Palmer spoke to: first, Kevin and Corin talk about the purpose of education and of the role of the teacher.
Corin also expressed significant doubts about the current emphasis on testing.
Corin and Kevin emphasized that some of the most valuable things in their educational experience have not been subject matter.
Assisting a student to become a “whole person” during his or her schooling takes more than learning just the basic skills. Exposure to the arts is a crucial part of expanding creativity, and of fully understanding the human experience. The Kickapoo Review’s Charlie Knower talked with someone who is intimately familiar with that fact, and is working to make certain that the arts remain an integral part of our educational systems.
Educationally, Viroqua is unusual for a rural area. In apparent recognition of the fact that one size does not fit all, there are multiple educational approaches available for students. Rena Medow set out to find out more about several of those options at the high school level.
One of the things that is usually missing in rural education is a wide cultural diversity of students. One local high school is working to change that equation with an outreach program that spans the globe. The Kickapoo Review’s Jim Hallberg has that story.
The notion that the best things in life are free generally does not apply to higher education. But one local entrepreneur, who measures profits not in money, but in learning, has figured out a way to buck that trend in the enterprise called Viroqua Free University.
The issue of funding for education in Wisconsin, and the future impact that may have on our public school system, has been a prominent story in the news this past year. Charlie Knower talked with one expert in the state who clarified what has been happening and shared her view of what the future might hold.
Well, that almost wraps it up for this month’s Kickapoo Review. But before we do, a program note for next week in this time slot. While we had Educator and Activist Parker Palmer’s ear, Prudence Tippins took the opportunity to talk to him about his latest initiative, outlined in his book, Healing the Heart of Democracy, which describes a process for restoring civil discussion about difficult issues in our society. So, next week, in a special extra edition of the Kickapoo Review, Prudence explores what might be done within our educational system to help bridge the divide about subjects that have become polarized. So tune in again next Sunday at 1 p.m. to hear that very timely discussion.
And an additional note of comment on today’s Kickapoo Review: fully half of today’s broadcast was produced by or featured ideas of local high school students. Judging from their thoughtful and incisive commentary and, indeed, the kinds of questions they ask, and despite the many problems of the world facing today’s youth, the future looks like it’s in very good hands.
Our thanks for the content and production contributors to today’s program: Rena Medow, Charlie Knower, Jim Hallberg, Prudence Tippins and, yours truly, Bill Motlong.
Charlie Knower and I put together today’s edition of the Review.
From all of us at the Kickapoo Review, thanks for tuning in.