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Education Needs to be Transformed, Not Reformed

I spent three years as a Midwest public school teacher before making the difficult decision to leave the classroom in the middle of the 2021 school year. While I loved many aspects of the job, I left because I was no longer able to help students experience a transformation in their learning. Instead, I was doing my best to work within the stifling rules and regulations that are deeply ingrained in educational systems. I was tired of attempting to reform situations beyond my control when I knew, deep down, that the system needed a transformation. 

Most of the help being offered is reformation, not transformation.

In order to truly transform something, it has to be reduced until it is unrecognizable and rebuilt better than before, like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Many popular suggestions given to try and better education are not transformative, though. Rather, they are reformative and seem content in keeping the caterpillar from undergoing its metamorphosis. This difference between reformative thinking and transformative thinking is key because it shows who is and is not comfortable maintaining the status quo of education. For example, hearing a school stakeholder proclaim, “We need to recreate the structure of classrooms, so that our students are engaging in daily conversations about what awaits them after graduation” is a truly transformative statement and has a very different meaning from, “We need to include a weekly discussion group in our classrooms.”

Reformative statements won’t do much to change the current state of education in a meaningful way, and it is a problem that should sound the alarm bells of every parent with a student enrolled in traditional school.

It is too late for reformation. 

Many ideas being discussed to improve schools are well-intended. Increasing teacher pay, hiring more qualified staff for schools, and changing schools’ start- and stop-times to better align with students’ internal clocks were, at one time, transformative ideas. However, it is too late for these now-reformative ideas. The pandemic exacerbated the debilitating nature of schools on student success, and with over 50% of teachers thinking of leaving the profession, our society is out of time. Every student deserves access to a high-quality education, but with limitations on staffing and curriculum choices, reformative ideas are no longer acceptable solutions to the problems in our schools.

Transformation is inevitable.

The pandemic also exacerbated society’s ideas about what is really important in one’s life. With our country still in the middle of The Great Resignation, conversations about work-life balance are being discussed in many workplaces, with some companies allowing the option of permanent remote work for its employees. This is a transformative idea: the traditional working structure is now permanently changed for these companies. However, our schools are being left out of this transformation. This doesn’t mean that education systems are doomed to remain stagnant, though. Education transformation is inevitable 

What side of history will you be on?

Giant Leaps Learning offers students a transformative educational experience that addresses the learning gap. Each student receives personalized and individualized curriculum guidance by one of our Student Success Coaches, who are fully committed to your child’s transformation and success. Your child gets a say in the topics they learn about, and our weekly discussion topics allow for the entire family to engage in the transformation experience. Giant Leaps Learning is not school. Rather, it is a step away from reformation and toward transformation. It is a chance for your child to grow into the butterfly they are meant to be.

If you are ready to take the leap, schedule a one-on-one call with us today