Dear @KanyeWest So You Want to Change Education?

In Professional Development, Random, Teaching Strategies by rafranzdavis0 Comments

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While visiting my morning dosages of online news, blogs and such…I was rightfully intrigued by a slideshow of “Kanye tweets” and one tweet in particular took my breath away. Kanye West wants to change the world, which is nothing new at all but with his new company DONDA, he specifically ranted a series of tweets in which he proclaimed to explore multiple facets of knowledge and creativity…including teachers.

So of course, I checked Kanye’s twitter feed myself and was mortified by a particular tweet which is included in the image about math needing to stop at the basics unless one is a math major of course…then AGAIN…at kids should choose a major in grade school and I have to admit that while, yes I believe that Mr. West is way off and somewhat divisive in his speech, the man has a point.

Bill Gates Did It, Why NOT Kanye?
While many, including a few of my twitter followers, disagree, I think that Kanye West is one of the most creative minds of our time. From fashion to arts, just going alone on the insanity that flows from his brain, can you even imagine the kind of kid that West was in school? I can envision so many of my students right now…the quiet ones, the sleepy ones, the BRILLIANT but disruptive ones, the self proclaimed horrible at math ones who are insanely talented at everything else ones…my opinion is that if done correctly, DONDA EDU will change education & lives.

You started the conversation all wrong with your talk of “choosing majors” and “limiting mathematics instruction.” Number one, learning is universal and you are fully aware of this. We ALL need a melting pot of experiences so that in life we have so much more to pull from. Children need to be exposed to multiple facets of learning and only then will they truly know what they really are passionate about pursuing. That’s where you come in.

Change Education…Change Teachers
I am all for “Camp Kanye”, and I am a believer that education will continue to change but at the base of it all….with teachers. Inspired teachers change lives everyday. If you really want to impact education, START with teachers. Start dialogue and action about instruction…real world instruction. Create avenues for teachers to utilize real world tools to emphasize real world learning. Schools that can’t afford quality tech tools and training, should have an avenue that provides access. When you train a teacher to be a more innovative educator, you’ve just impacted classes full of children. Training shouldn’t stop with one class. Create a cadre of educational learners and mentors that keep in touch and create through continued learning and development.

You made one statement that truly spoke to the core purpose of me writing this posting. You mentioned kids, with greater problems at home, who are distractions at school and are not learning. What if teachers actually learned and listened to what reaches those students and did the unthinkable in the minds of some…taught them. I live in a community where the drop out
home school rate is high, teen pregnancy is congratulated and the tech tools that we have readily available are often left collecting dust. Yet, a series of tweets by an eccentric yet amazing artist, has given me hope that all of that can and will change. The question is, are you up to the challenge of doing it and doing it right?

If you are up to the challenge of creating a series of hands on, artistic and technologically forward curriculum, I’m in and cannot wait to see what becomes of DONDA EDU.

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