When strategists see problems, they sometimes see solutions. In wrote my thesis on creative organizations, so it’s no surprise when I say that education should be about helping kids be their best selves.
A Systems Approach Sometimes Means A New System
Creative kids need flexible education systems that foster growth, choice (change) and scaling. Because if you don’t have choice, you lack feedback (and lack a justification for change). And if you don’t have scalability, growth needs to work harder. I see potential for growth in the use of popup classrooms for K‑12.
How many statistics have we seen showing that K‑12 education in America is a horrible value for the money (both from those trying to shut it down and those complaining there’s not enough funding)? So why not have a system for popup classrooms in the Socratic tradition?
How It Would Work
Parents want to educate their kids, so they take their kids to the rose garden to look at the flowers, study pollination mechanisms, etc.
Separately, a guy decides he wants to teach kids about botany. So he shows up in the rose garden as a self-appointed guide/teacher, wearing an armband (or a t‑shirt or a sandwich board).
Interested parents can go up to him with their kids and ask questions. If they like the answers and trust the guy, they’ll tip him and tell their friends.
Grassroots, Social Accountability
But pretty soon, parents will want to know who these guys and gals are. So you use social media to find out about them. Optionally, growing out of this, you could have a local community group made of parents who can govern, and even provide accreditation. Of course, they wouldn’t have any real authority, only social authority, which is enough.
Disciplines that could be Taught
Outdoors, you could teach astronomy, botany, environmental values and lots of science. And with more and more coworking and meeting spaces available, classrooms could be set up to accommodate theoretical pursuits, writing, etc.
Economic Pressure to Deliver Quality
The cool thing is this: if parents want to pay, they can (and will). It’s supply and demand. Basically, these teachers would be paid by how well the parents like them.
There’s room for specialization and discretion, based on parents’ judgments:
- ADHD-friendly teaching
- Smaller class sizes
- More parent discretion
- More-interesting topics
- Kids matched with good teachers/presenters
Who would do this?
People who are retired, unemployed or just want to give back.
The idea isn’t crazy. I think it just needs a leader…and maybe an app.