Originally posted in our February 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.
Public schooling has been a pillar of organizing and improving society for centuries. But in the last 150 years, US public schools are expected to do more and more in bringing up the youth. School used to be a place to teach essential skills and to disseminate some fundamental values. However, social and emotional learning was the responsibility mainly of the family and the social groups they occupied. Now, the contract has changed.
In this piece written for Temple University, we see the growing list of society’s expectations of schools and teachers. While the list contains a host of important subjects, their weight is being pushed more and more onto teachers and school programs rather than other areas of society.
But, as the authors of this piece suggest, “[s]ocial and economic conditions demand that we unfold the full potential of every child. Our futures are tied to their success as never before. But this is a job for all of us. Our schools cannot do it alone. We must all come together in a great conversation and help our schools remove the obstacles to student success both in and out of schools.”
So, how can we start this great conversation? How can we change our expectations of what school could be and share the load of cultivating thriving youth?