By Christine Cooke

Every human being is created to do great things. But each has different talents, weaknesses, and interests, and each learns in ways particular to him or her. Sutherland Institute believes that keeping in mind the unique potential of individuals can help us create an ideal education system. We understand that ideas have consequences.

Our philosophy contends that to create an educational system that meets the unique needs of children, we must first combat three widespread ideas that are holding us back: (1) all students are the same, (2) schooling is primarily about social and political objectives, and (3) the government is responsible for educating children.

This paper describes how these ideas stem from popular philosophies and traditions but says that asking big bold questions about our approach to education can lead us to a change in thinking and new ideas. In doing so, we can transform education to meet the needs and potential of the individual student.

You can find the full paper here.

Christine Cooke works as a policy analyst for Sutherland Institute’s Center for Educational Progress. Christine has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in English Teaching and graduated from Arizona State University with a law degree. Prior to joining Sutherland Institute, Christine was an English teacher at a public junior high school and a residential treatment center. As a student attorney in the Arizona State University Juvenile Advocacy Clinic, Christine represented clients in juvenile law proceedings and taught community legal education to high school students. She worked in legal and policy research with the legal counsel for the Arizona Office of the Governor, legal counsel for Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, the Goldwater Institute, and The Heritage Foundation. Christine has made appearances on Fox-13 News and KSL’s Sunday Edition and is regularly featured in regional publications and radio shows. She currently sits on a state committee that advises the Utah State Board of Education on specific education issues. When in her home state of Arizona, she loves to spend time with her family. She also loves music, hiking, and making cookies.


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