Mr. Miyagi Education and “BALANCE”

MiyagiTonight as I was watching the original Karate Kid with my kids I was struck by a conversation between Miyagi and Daniel.

Miyagi: [Daniel has just gotten his driver’s license and Miyagi has given him a car for his birthday] Just remember, license never replace eye, ear, and brain.
[notices Daniel has suddenly gotten quiet]
Miyagi: What matter?
Daniel: I’m just scared. The tournament and everything.
Miyagi: You remember lesson about balance?
Daniel: Yeah.
Miyagi: Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?

This of course got me thinking about education.  I know get a life take a break from teaching.  But I really began thinking about the state of education and how the the focus on standardize tests, teacher accountability, funding and how to fix the current state of education seems to be missing the point.  There is no one thing that is going to fix education.  What we need to provide students is a balanced education.  Public education was originally designed to create well rounded citizens.  This is what we need to consider when we begin to think about revamping education today.  We need to develop a system that has balance and is not putting all our emphasis into preparing students for tests but rather preparing them for life.  Jefferson stated that education should be “adapted to the years, to the capacity, and the condition of every one, and directed to their freedom and happiness”.  So as the discussion continues and the debate rages on lets remember what Mr. Miyagi says “Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?”

Great Links on this topic.

The real problem of U.S. public schools