Why Do Students Have To Go To School? #iastuchat Slow Chat Begins!

I have never been more happy to announce another layer to the Student Voice movement. My passion for student voice and helping students learn to embrace the power of their voice is coming to a full head with so many things taking shape and form. As I have stated before not only do we need students to understand that they have voice, but we must move from voice to agency.

Today, May 1st we will be embracing both. Students from several schools around Iowa have been networking behind the scenes via Voxer, Google Docs, and Calendar to kick off a new opportunity for students to connect and share their ideas.


From the planning we are ready to launch #iastuchat

We hope that you join the conversation. This is a slow chat meaning that you can discuss the topic all day long! There is no set schedule. That way any student from any location can join in.

The topic of our first chat is, “Why Do Students Have To Go To School?”

If you have not yet read the blog by Ian Coon who is a student from Waukee and is one of the pioneers of student voice in Iowa you need to read his views on the question to give you some ideas to ponder.

Being an educator and parent I had to think hard on this question. Why do students have to go to school? Is it because we need daycare for children while parents work? Do we need to create robot humans who all think the same? Do we need to develop 21st century thinkers for the 22nd century? Do we need to create jobs so people have something to do? Do we need to develop drama that people always have something to talk about?

I don’t really know the answer. I do know that school is essential. However, the landscape of the world has changed. We live in a ¬†global village where we can access anything and anyone with the proper tools. Why is it that schools have not changed to understand this shift?

I think a key fundamental aspect is that we are scared. We are scared to blow up the system. We are scared to acknowledge that we don’t know how to handle a new system where students work at their own pace. We are scared to admit that young students can be more prepared for the world than we are as adults. We are scared to admit that a 10 year old could handle higher level content. We are scared to admit that perhaps a focus of schools should be on developing skill sets instead of content.

We are scared to dig into the answer that we know is the elephant in the room. We must really address this question.

We must admit that times are changing. That the real answer will take work. It will take us to gather the bravery and courage to step outside our comfort zones and push to new frontiers. We must admit that we leaders are not equipped and must find help.

We need to open up our minds to the notion that the culture and mindset in schools need to move from the concept of education to the concept of learning!

So, as we launch this chat I want to hear from you all. Share and spread the message. Bring others onboard to share. Why do we need to go school? School is not bad. School is amazing. It should be amazing. They should be innovation centers. They should be the hub of all communities where everyone in the community WANTS to play a role in the learning.

I look forward to your answers to the question. Be sure to use the hashtag #iastuchat

Let us create a movement of voice with a goal of agency!

Let your voice be heard today!

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