Our children are suffering. Public school systems are failing them. Rather than stoke a child's inquisitive mind, they are forced to learn by rote. We may be teaching children how to memorize facts and raising test scores, but are we encouraging their creativity? They may be learning the three 'R's, but are they becoming emotionally intelligent? The recent spate of school violence highlights just how unbalanced and unsatisfying the experience has become for some children.
Consequently, there are many schools across the country that are experimenting with something different. Alternative education focuses on more individualized, experiential, and organic learning environments. A child's creativity is engaged. Both hemispheres of the brain - logical/rational and intuitive/emotional - are honored and stimulated. Communication and conflict resolution are emphasized. Students are given responsibility through democratic school governance. In short, children are trusted to more or less guide their own educational journey. Students will always need tutelage from those adults who themselves are a product of an enlightened course of education. In this way, a steady succession of knowledge is continuously passed to the next generation ~ a sojourn based on the time-honored wisdom of elders.
Is this not the ultimate empowerment? When children are encouraged to shape the destiny of their own education, when they are motivated to think for themselves, to stand up for what they believe in, we will undoubtedly have a happier, more well-adjusted generation on the rise. This is the greatest way to end injustice and intolerance.