Home > Children, DC, Values and Ethics, Washington > Thomas Jefferson and Me

Thomas Jefferson and Me

ThomasJeffersonDuring my twenty-three years in education, my beliefs about children have not changed much.  But my understanding of how to meet their needs has evolved a lot.  Schools must be open to change, particularly as new opportunities challenge our long-standing assumptions.  We must ask ourselves if traditional models still make sense.

While visiting the Jefferson Memorial yesterday, I was struck by a quote inscribed under its dome.  Jefferson had written, “…institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

Jefferson MemorialAs information technology has made vast amounts of information available at our children’s finger tips, the classroom paradigm has shifted. Education is about much more that teaching of facts. Now schools must be set up to nurture the personal qualities that prepare children for meaningful lives in a changing world.  Personal qualities such as integrity, perseverance, grit and curiosity are more important than ever.

Are we willing to change our institutions to meet our children’s needs?

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