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The 9% Challenge: Education in School and Society

author: Lauren Sosniak
description: "At graduation from high school, a youth would have spent, at most, 9% of his or her lifetime in school. Given the low dose of schooling in relation to the lives children and youth live outside of school, we can hardly justify holding schools essentially responsible for what students know and can do, or for what they don't know and can't do. Although more school, and school- plus-school (for example, on weekends and during the summers), are the typical responses to the current limits we must acknowledge, I contend they are not necessarily the most appropriate or helpful for our children or our society. Instead, I suggest that we consider two alternatives. First, we might reinvent education as society's mission, in and outside of school, and develop policies, practices, funding streams and mechanisms for accountability consistent with this altered vision. Second, we might reinvent schooling, too; we would need to identify the unique mission of schools, and develop appropriate expectations regarding what schools might do in the 9% of youth time allotted to them."

URL link:
published in: TCR (Teachers College Record)
published: 2001
posted to site: 01/18/2002