I was challenged by my friend, and fellow educator, Scott Bedley to add to the growing number of posts dedicated to the 5 things that need to change in education. You can find links to the thinking of others by researching the hashtag #makeschooldifferent and you can read Scott's post here. Trying to narrow my own list down to just 5 things that need to change in education was challenging; here are the 5 that I came up with, in no particular order.
1. That one size fits all (or even most) learners.
- This goes equally for the students in our classrooms, as it does for our colleagues in professional learning environments.
2. That education will cure all of society's ills.
- It would be awesome if having access to high quality education alone would cure many of the issues we currently face, but education alone is not the answer. In many ways we have forgotten that we belong to one another, and that we are bound to one another. We have forgotten about the common good.
3. That quiet compliance is an accurate measure of engagement.
- When we are actively engaged we wrestle with ideas, we challenge current thought, and engage in discourse. Learning is often noisy, and messy.
4. That the homework most of us assign is meaningful.
- It's not. The students that complete it without difficulty probably don't need it. The students that need it often need more structured, and directed reteaching opportunities. Children are naturally curious, and have a desire to learn, but I fear we squash that with redundant and meaningless tasks that are assigned as homework.
5. That improved test scores are indicative of improvements in learning and opportunity.
- Test scores are a single snapshot, and tend to focus on things that are easily measured. Yet, the skills and capacities that institutions for higher education and employers claim to be looking for are those that are not as easily measured.
In keeping with the pattern of these posts I'm supposed to challenge 5 other educators to share their lists of things. Well, I'm not going to tag 5 educators, partly because I have lost track of those in my PLN who have already responded, and partly because I just want to read a wide range of responses. So if you have a list of 5 things of your own, pop a link to your post in the comment section, so we can continue the conversation.