Is Public Education a Worthy Goal? Ask your Students

Celebrating American Education Week

There are a wealth of different opinions about how our youth should be educated — opinions that have changed wildly since our earliest schools were built. The battles to exert influence over our school systems can be fierce at all levels, from the PTO on up to the federal government. Ironically, the one place where we don’t often talk overtly about what schooling is for and how it should be structured is in the classroom. While they are students, the youth opinion about whether school is important or not might be mostly influenced by how much they enjoy class every day. But what if we can prompt them to think more deeply about why they are required to attend school every day and whether or not they think compulsory education is a worthy goal of a country?

At Pear Deck, we believe that as we teachers educate our citizenry, it is crucial that we teach them how to think critically about important questions, be open to opposing opinions, and disagree reasonably and respectfully.

In support of this goal and in celebration of American Education Week, we created a Deck to discuss some of the important underlying questions related to public education like:

  • Should education be free?
  • Who gets to go to school?
  • Should all students get the exact same education?

 

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This Deck is the first in a new effort — we are challenging ourselves to create a new Deck with each newsletter. Each Deck will provide sample questions about a particular subject to encourage debate and respectful dialog around important topics. We will make these Decks multi-disciplinary so you can tweak them for your own use, and we hope they can provide actionable ways to spark conversation in your classrooms.

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You can find the Deck and Presenter Notes here. We’d love to hear about the conversations you have!