December 14th's unfathomable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is unlikely to lead to serious action on gun control. More likely, there will be emphatic calls to make school security a cross between Gitmo and Apple's research lab. Such overreaction will only undermine a true sense of personal security and make schools less productive contexts for learning.
It is at traumatic times such as these that we seek wisdom in order to maintain perspective.
"The school must open its doors. It must reach out and spread itself, and come into direct contact with all its people. Each day the power of the school must be felt in some corner of the school district. It must work so that everybody sees its work and daily appraises that work...
We must change the notion that the school is a cloistered institution, by breaking down its walls and having it come into direct contact with people... It must use the factory, the stores, the neighboring parks, the museums, not incidentally, but fully and with deliberation...
We must change our attitude toward the child... I feel that the attitude toward the school and the child is the ultimate attitude by which America is to be judged. Indeed, the distinctive contribution America is to make to the world's progress is not political, economical, religious, but educational - the child (is) our national strength, the school as the medium through which the adult is to be remade."
He was right then. He is right today! Read and learn!
Every problem in public education (and society in general) is identified and solved by Patri in this book published nearly a century ago. Every American should read it.