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By Clarence O. Perry The curriculum must now be seen as the “means” rather than the “end”.A quality education system for Guyanese must have a new mission. This new mission must be to develop “great human beings who are valuable contributors to society”. Anything less will be incapable of turning this nation around.This new mission is critical to the reduction of violent behaviour and to our survival as a nation. This mission represents a new definition for education in Guyana and provides the key for breaking out of our curriculum bondage.Scholars who have studied the lives of persons who have made significant contributions to society, have identified three qualities or characteristics that make people inclined to be contributors to society.These three qualities are: a strong sense of self-worth, deep feelings of love and respect for all people, and an insatiable hunger for truth and knowledge. These three qualities can be kept in mind as a clear image to guide teaching and parenting.These three qualities or dimensions of human greatness offer a different frame of reference for education in Guyana. They can be used as master goals which are people oriented rather than curriculum oriented. They help us to concentrate on human development and maximum individual achievement, instead of curriculum development with its twin pillars of minimum competence and standardized achievement.These dimensions provide a framework for redesigning education in Guyana to empower each teacher and each youth to fashion and build us a nation of “One People”. Time and editorial constraints will permit me to discuss only one of these three dimensions – identity.Identity probes the question: “Who am I?” It describes the most intense need of any person – the need to be an important “somebody”. Identity comprises all of the elements of a person’s self-image (individual talents and gifts, confidence,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, self-esteem, honesty,Wholesale Jerseys China, responsibility, spirituality, character, physical fitness).For many years educators have been aware of the central role that self-image plays in our lives as the governor of all behaviour. Each of us is always true to our self-image and behaves according to the kind of person we perceive ourselves to be. Those of us who have a poor self-image or low self-esteem are usually prone to anti-social behaviour or violence.Because of our traditional obsession with curricula we have tended to ignore the work of developmental psychologists which reveals the individuality of human nature. There has not been a psychologist (educational,China Jerseys Wholesale, social or any other kind) on the staff of any of our teacher education institutions during the past thirty years.A focus on people,Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, instead of curricula, will allow us to provide for the unique talent profile of individuals. To help each student acquire an identity of greatness, we must emphasize the discovery and development of each student’s unique gifts and talents. The most important facet of a child’s identity is his or her unique set of intelligences, and it is this human attribute that deserves our greatest attention. It appears that this part of human development is most critical in determining whether a person will achieve the self-esteem and confidence necessary to become a contributor to society.Whenever we help a person to elevate his or her self-image we ourselves become contributors to society. Experience has shown that an effective way to raise self-image is to focus on a person’s assets which is in contrast to the traditional Guyanese school practice that focus on correcting “deficiencies” or “inadequacies”(so-called remediation) based upon someone else’s standards.Confidence and self-esteem result when students discover what they can do well and strive to develop their unique talents and gifts. When we accept identity as the first dimension of human greatness and primary goal of education, we unleash a force that offers the greatest potential for growth and for “constructive social change”: a person’s self-image.Fourth,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, we will need to reconstitute the Caribbean Examinations Council into a Caribbean Educational Council that will enable Research in Education Development, and facilitate the dissemination of initiatives in quality education, such as student independent projects, portfolios,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China, alternative forms of assessments and professional development.It is common knowledge that in our school system the “tail wags the dog”.What takes place in our classrooms is to a very large degree influenced by examinations and pushed willy-nilly by past examination papers. Our curriculum is certainly not being drawn or designed by a future of our own making.
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