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 is director of Sutherland Institute’s Center for Educational Progress. She is a member of the Utah State Bar, with a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from Arizona State University. She worked as an English teacher at a public school and a residential treatment center. She also worked with the Arizona Office of the Governor, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Goldwater Institute, and The Heritage Foundation.

Christine is regularly featured in national, local and regional publications and radio shows. Christine is an appointed member of the state Competency Based Learning Review Committee. She also serves on the Greater Avenues Community Council. She loves music and making cookies.


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