You Can’t Teach That

There are so many things that traditional schools try to “teach” that simply can’t be taught.

You can’t “teach peace” or “tolerance”, for example.  You can develop a “curriculum unit” around these, have stories and talk about peace/tolerance, make cross-words and word-finds and other “fun tools” (yes, let’s never forget that it needs to be FUN or “the kids won’t be interested”!).

You can’t teach these things because they have to be lived, experienced – made real.  Otherwise all you have is some memorized pap that means nothing to a student.  A bunch of lines, empty slogans, etc that do not connect with them meaningfully and so are dropped the minute these students interact with the world beyond their classroom walls.

You CAN cultivate a culture that lives peacefully and with toleration – that can be passed on to children.  You can deal with students in a respectful/peaceable manner and show them how to create peace, live with peace and thus grow to pass that along.  This carries far more meaning for  a person.  We want people in the world who live this way because it’s who they are, not because it’s what they were told one day.

This is learning by doing, of course.  The only was we really learn anything.

Let’s drop the platitudes and forced niceties and start living in a way that helps students to see the value of having integrity, of keeping your word, of valuing and judging others based on who they are and not accidental physical traits. THIS will achieve the goal of creating people who care to live in a similar way, of creating tolerant, peaceful, respectful individuals.  You really can’t teach that.