Written by: Dr. John McLaughlin
You went to school. I went to school. Our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors went to school. And, as a result, we’re all experts – education experts. We all know what school is for, how its organized, and what students are supposed to learn. Or do we?
There’s a very good chance that you were schooled with hundreds of others in large buildings where teachers instructed you and thirty others, promoted you from grade to grade, sent you to high school where you moved from class-to-class in a cells-and-bells facility and where your fondest school memories were formed in the lunchroom or the athletic fields. It was a form of education, an organization of schooling, that fit the needs of the time. But times have changed and two of the biggest challenges to allowing schooling to evolve are:
- Our memories that tell us the way we were educated worked thus it should be good enough for today – our self-anointed education expertise.
- The regulatory and economic structures of schooling that are deeply woven into our society and difficult to change because they are so deeply woven into our society.
Yes, we’re all education experts, but let’s keep in mind we’re experts at what was and what served us and our time relatively well. And, with all the changes in our society, in technology, in the economy, and in our demographics, schooling will change, should change, and is changing. So, all of us experts can just sit back, watch schools evolve, and say, “Remember when…?”
Dr. John McLaughlin is co-founder of Galileo Preparatory Academy. As a tenured professor at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota (1988–1998), John researched the rise of education as an invest-able industry. John wrote the first Galileo Education business plan in 1999 with a vision that customized learning was possible. Prior to his career, John attended Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, The University of Chicago, and the University of Minnesota where he received BA, MA, and Ph.D. degrees respectively. He is frequently sought out for his thoughts on the intersection of capital markets and education, has authored three related books, dozens of articles, and continues an active writing agenda.