My new school, QSI, breaks down education into three parts – “to be,” “to do” and “to know.” “To be” refers primarily with how we interact with others, ourselves and our environment. It is made up of success orientations. I have discussed this previously. The success orientations are:
- Concern for Others
- Group Interaction
- Aesthetic Appreciation
- Independent Endeavor
“To do” is made up of skills. This is where students learn to write thesis statements, or categorize, or synthesize, or add, or a myriad of other skills. I actually find it the most challenging area to teach, but also the most rewarding. The third part of teaching is made up of subject knowledge. It is here that we find out about what happened in 1451 or 1054, and why those events matter to us today.
So what is the undeniable pattern that I am seeing played out? It is this; whenever success orientations are violated, learning stops – it is invariably stopped in its tracks. For example, when students become irresponsible, or show a lack of concern for others, learning stops until those the student is re-oriented toward success.
Does this go beyond the classroom? Just ask the students who won’t be able to attend school because of the greed of a few men willing to put everyone at risk for their own gain.