On Friday Nov. 15, teacher education students and professionals gathered on the campus of Ohio Christian University where they discussed Ohio’s new “Each Child Our Future” education plan. The event featured government and education professionals with insight on the new plan and how it will affect education now and in the future.
The Ohio Department of Education’s vision for the plan is for each child to be challenged to discover and learn, prepared to pursue a fulfilling post-high school path, and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society. The plan pulls together three core principles, four learning domains, and ten priority strategies to support the whole child and help Ohio achieve its goal to help students succeed following graduation.
The speakers represented a broad range of knowledge and insight about youth and education. These speakers included Paulo DeMaria, state superintendent; Gary Sherer, state representative; Melanie Swisher, associate director of the Paint Valley ADAMH Board; among several others.
Some of the topics covered during the day included “Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom Today,” “Funding Education,” and “Christians on Campus – The New Radical.”
One session titled “The Future of Education – Where Do We Go from Here?” featured speakers DeMaria; Jonathan Davis, superintendent of Circleville City Schools; and Meg Kilgannon from the Family Research Council. One of the key points of this session was that education should be moving toward greater flexibility for those who do not wish to pursue a traditional four-year degree upon receiving their diploma. “Be open to all of the options,” Davis said.
Teacher education students Kerri Adkins (’20), Baylee DePugh (’19), Makayla Harr (‘20), and Jordan Wilson (’20) also spoke. The group had the opportunity to travel to Sweden over the summer with the education department, led by Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Department Chair and Dr. Jeanne R. Bruce, Ed.D. At the Summit, they shared about their experience and what they learned about the Swedish educational system.
The Swedish educational system is one of the top-ranked in the world, and they have similarities to the “Each Child Our Future” plan. In Sweden, they focus on educating the whole child and letting the student choose a career path that interests them.
A core mission of Ohio Christian University is to prepare students to be a light in their chosen fields. With professional development opportunities such as the Education Summit, students are equipped to serve with greater efficiency in the church and society as they enter an educational system that utilizes this plan.
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