In a recent report by Populace (2022), 55 percent of American parents expressed their desire for educators to rethink how today’s K-12 schools are educating our children. The study found that, despite the widespread perception that American society wants K-12 schools to prepare students for college, college is not as important to parents as it used to be. Instead, the study reported, today’s parents would like to see their children develop practical skills “for both life and career” (p. 10), critical thinking skills that allow them “to problem solve and make decisions” (p. 8), and moral character traits such as “honesty, kindness, integrity, [and] ethics” (p. 20).
The Populace study reported that today’s parents want more individualized educational experiences for their children, with greater emphasis on students’ interests and personal/career goals than on a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Parents want their children to have learning opportunities across a variety of modalities, and they want learning to be assessed through demonstration of mastery as opposed to traditional assessments like standardized tests.
According to the Populace study, today’s parents believe that “better” (as in straight As and college bound) should not be the purpose of a K-12 education, but “different” (as in a customized educational experience for every student) should be. It seems that–at least for parents–the purpose of an American K-12 education is changing.…Read More