Ever notice that parents, teachers, administrators love to talk about the “REAL WORLD”:
“Make sure you work hard so that you prepare yourself for the REAL WORLD”.
“You think you have it hard now – wait till you get into the REAL WORLD”.
“Oh yeah, you can get away with that in school, but it’s a different story in the REAL WORLD”.
Wait a minute. What is this REAL WORLD? And if it actually exists does that make the world of school or college – Imaginary?
All through my schooling – this idea of a REAL WORLD haunted me. I loved school, the learning the community, the openness to ideas; but could not, or would not allow myself to imagine a career in education. Doing that would be a cop-out – I couldn’t make it in the REAL WORLD.
Truth is education has always been my calling and after thirty rewarding years in the profession, I give thanks that fate brought me to my senses.
The problem is that we confuse schools and schooling with education and learning. We know that education improves life outcomes, so our solution is education for all, well actually schooling for all: the process where we pluck little children from their homes and communities (their REAL WORLD), put them in schools for 7 to 15 years, after which out pops an educated population ready to be plopped back into the REAL WORLD.