Flobbertown is a neighboring school where everyone does everything the same. They dress in one style, sing one song, think one way, march in single file, they have no park, and their dogs are actually scared to bark.
The Diffendoofer School kids become scared they will lose their amazing teachers and unique approach to learning. Miss Bonkers jumps to the front of the room and assures the students that they have learned all they needed to learn and something else that matters more – they have been taught how to creatively think.
Well, the test is taken, and the children rapidly realize they know what they need to know and they are great at thinking. They pass the test and their local school is saved.
I have made Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! required reading for my employees and interns for years. It demonstrates the kind of thinking we need in education and across the public and private sector.
Every discussion of education must begin and end with the unique needs of the students and the two vital things every child must take with them from their formal schooling experience – knowing how to learn and a love of learning. We live in a world where we have more changes in one of our 24-hour days than our grandparents experienced in decades of their lives. Knowing how to learn and developing a true love of continuous learning will be the determining success factor for 21st-century students and workers.
Before launching on the sea of debate around buildings, funding, taxes and control we should all read Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! and recognize that the answers we adults are looking for in education results may best be found and achieved by following the principles contained within the pages of a children’s book. It is, after all, about the kids.
For Sutherland Institute, this is Boyd Matheson. Thanks for engaging – because principle matters.
This post is an edited transcript of Principle Matters, a weekly radio commentary broadcast on several radio stations across the country. The podcast can be found below.
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