Thoughts from the Head of School: Education Reform

The United States once had a highly ranked education system. Today depending on the measure, the US ranks at best in the top 12 at worst 32nd in global education. Finland is universally acknowledged as the leader in education. Since the early 1980s the US has been undertaking various efforts to improve its education system. Three principles that are now widely being adopted are:

Cognitive Learning, Self-Discipline and Collaboration.

1.     Cognitive Learning:

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Jean Piaget (1896-1980), a French scientist, is credited with first identifying the concept of cognitive learning. He wrote about stages of development: assimilation, equilibrium, new situation, disequilibrium, and accommodation. He identified that children learn at different rates as they progress through the above stages.  Jean Piaget taught about discovery learning; the idea that children learn best through doing and actively exploring. He emphasized “individual learning, flexibility in curriculum [and] the centrality of play in children’s learning, [as well as] the use of the environment, learning from discovery and the importance of the evaluation of children’s progress.  Teachers should not assume that only what is measurable is valuable.”(McLeod)

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