By Andrew Hofstetter
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Mitch Pearlstein, the founder and senior fellow of the Center of the American Experiment and the speaker at Liberty Classical’s upcoming Education in Society event on November 13th, 2018. The title of his talk is going to be “Why Do American Students Do So Poorly in International Comparisons?”
If I’m honest, the likelihood that I was going to attend this event was slim. That’s not because I wasn’t interested in the subject. I generally am very interested in any conversation about education. But the reason I wasn’t likely to put it on my calendar was because of the 1,500 things competing for our family’s time. We’re busy. And in addition to RenWeb, homework, evening activities, family functions, and attempts at something resembling rest, we also have two toddlers who exponentially increase our busyness quotient, along with a hectic bedtime routine that sometimes lasts for hours. With the amount of things competing for our time, I knew that I couldn’t schedule a night away from the family for the evening.
But then I met Dr. Pearlstein
When Dr. Pearlstein began to share about what his talk was going to entail, I was captured. When he talks about education, he’s talking about something more than schools, books, or classrooms. He’s talking about more than private school versus public school or secular education versus religious education.
He’s talking about students. Students. And students are affected by more than curriculum choices or standardized tests. Students are affected by everything that surrounds them, from their interactions at home to the messages they’re bombarded with. They aren’t empty vessels that get filled in the classroom. They’re not empty at all. They're full of all sorts of things. Things like potential, dreams, energy, passion, and talent. They're also full of things like fear, assumptions, and questions.
Liberty’s upcoming Education in Society event will talk about something more than curriculum choices or ideal class size. It will address something bigger than how we can be smarter than people across continents or oceans.
Dr. Pearlstein will talk about family
He’ll talk about how the breakdown of family is hitting our students…and subsequently hitting our classrooms, our schools, and our ability to lead internationally. He'll talk about education not as a formula to fill students’ minds with information but as an opportunity to capture their hearts with possibilities. He’ll talk about family not as some inconsequential societal influence, but as the very center of a child’s understanding of self, purpose, and potential.
When I heard him talk about what he meant by education, I decided that this was an event I wouldn't miss. I want to be a better dad; a better leader in my home and my community. I want to help my own kids succeed...not on tests, but in life. I want to help open their eyes to the potential that I see when I look at them. And I want to be part of conversations with people who want the same things.
And that’s why this Liberty dad is going to the Education in Society event with Mitch Pearlstein.