Page 7 - 2023 JSF Annual
P. 7

Robert A. Krause
Education: A powerful force for change
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
Ask a child how school works, and you’ll likely get some interesting answers. Through the eyes of a child, the teaching model is pretty simple. Grown-ups tell little ones the stuff they know. It’s the little ones’ job to remember as much of it as they can. Then, they tell the grown-ups everything they can remember.
The transfer of knowledge is an important element of education. However, the transfer of knowledge is not the element of education that qualifies it as the “powerful weapon” Mandela described. There is so much more to education than information.
Education serves as a training ground or fitness center for the mind. Yes, it arms us with information; we learn facts, memorize dates, and read stories. But education is also about teaching us to think creatively and critically. We are tasked with not merely remembering material but synthesizing information, evaluating it, communicating our perspectives to others, and making a difference because of it.
Most of us could not step into a college class we took years ago and pass the final exam without restudying the material. We have forgotten much of the information. But we retain the skill we cultivated in school of how to learn.
As students, we learn how to manage our time, prioritize tasks, and persist under pressure. The classroom offers a microcosm of life. Students learn the value of understanding a teacher, working with others, being prepared, and showing up on time.
Education does not merely provide certificates to greater earning power. Education improves opportunity. While credentials may get you in the door, performance, productivity, and impact are the ultimate rewards.
Education is powerful. It equips us to be better neighbors, community members, and citizens. The life skills learned inside (and outside) of the classroom can be applied to all areas of life. The students featured in this year’s report have exemplified this well.
In our fast-changing world, tomorrow’s jobs may not exist as we know them. So how do we prepare the students of today for the jobs and challenges of tomorrow?
We cultivate thinkers who have discovered through experience that education is a powerful force for change.

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