by, Scott Francis, CEO of BP-3 Global, Board of Directors Chair and Magellan Parent

Tomorrow is our first day of school at Magellan for 2017-18 school year. My kids are too excited to sleep.

I came across this post from November on “The PYP and the genie in a bottle” and it really resonated with me.  Given the start of a new school year, when we are full of energy and hope for all that the new year will bring, it felt like a good time to share it:

A parent recently asked me if I felt her children would struggle when returning to a more conservative model of education after several years in a PYP school… and an innovative PYP school at that.

She was mainly thinking about whether or not they would have fallen behind academically in the traditional subject areas as the system in her country, like in most of them, is very content-specific. I said that they may find there are things that they haven’t learned… of course! However, I told her, after several years in the PYP they will have the ability to access that information as they will be skilled in the “art of learning”.

I hear this concern expressed by parents in Austin as well. First, parents worry their children will be behind in English at a dual language school. All of our test results show otherwise, as does any subjective assessment of our children. Second, they worry about whether the PYP program sends kids sufficiently prepared for middle school (or high school) in terms of knowing specific content about the State of Texas or other specific criteria.

But I worry about this in a completely different way. I worry about how to continue this amazing education for my children. How will I continue to give them the very best education they need to fulfill their life goals? I worry about whether they’ll want to go back to a system where everyone sits at tables all day in rows, with everyone doing the same task at the same time for the same amount of time — and required to do it the same way (even if there is a better way). I don’t want their free thinking and creativity stifled. Their love of learning. And that’s what I worry about “after PYP”. I worry about the lost time doing rote work, when my daughter and son could be achieving more.

The metaphor of a genie in a bottle sprung to mind as I was talking. We laughed about how the PYP has released the inner genie in her children, and children like them, and how it might be very difficult or even impossible to put the genie back into the bottle! But, do we really want to?

That’s exactly how I feel. Will our children really want to stop running ahead? Would I want them to?

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