Ever read Harry Potter? If so, please recall the fifth book, The Order of the Phoenix. Remember the lovely ministry-appointed teacher, Professor Umbridge? Her philosophy was simple: knowing the theory is enough to have mastered the material. No application, no practice, “wands away” and all that nonsense. She even said that just learning the theory is “Sufficient to get through the exams, which is what school is all about.”

As a whole, most people dislike Umbridge, simply because her philosophy and treatment of Harry are major turn offs. If the general public dislikes Umbridge, that would normally translate to a dislike of what she stands for. However, that doesnt seem to be the case. While hating Umbridge, most people (including myself for the longest time) continued to abhor her educational practices in the story, while following them in real life.

In this particular installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry is more than the main character, he is the educational protagonist- standing for practical applications and learning through doing.

What if we treated normal schools like Hogwarts and applied the popular Harry philosophy to our classes? Wouldn’t we all love to have a Harry Potter curriculum, able to really use the knowledge we receive and be prepared for the “real world”? I think Harry put it best when he said, “In school if you make a mistake you can just try again tomorrow but out there…. It’s different.”

Even before I ventured into the realm of edreform, I used to ask myself, “What’s the purpose of school?” I always figured school was designed to help prepare and equip us for life and being a big kid. I still believe that school should help us once we are done with formal education and that the learning should not be confined within school walls.

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