Tinkering, Boxes, Outerspace and Rowboats……….

Recently educators have been bemoaning the latest attempts by the federal government to encourage change to happen in our school system.  “How dare they try to force merit pay down our throats.”  “What do they mean they are going to fire entire staffs in low performing schools?”  “This is NCLB on steriods!”  “More testing?  Don’t they know that testing is what is ruining our schools?”  We are spending too much time and energy (myself included) fighting the wrong fight.  Let’s face it, schools are not working the way they should.  Who are the stewards in charge of making schools what they should be? Hmmmmmmm. If we abdicate the responsibility, then we deserve what we get. We have to quit tinkering with the old model.  The old industrial school model will only take us so far. Scott McLeod states it very well in his his post You Can’t Get to Outerspace With a Rowboat.  We have to quit being a bumpersticker culture and a bunch of whiners.  Let us roll up our sleeves and create the schools we would want our own children to attend.  Thinking outside the box is not helpful when the box (current schools in this metaphor) is so far from where we need to be.  PCHS, this summer we must roll up our sleeves and think way beyond where we are now.  We have only been tinkering with the old model.  Time to design something new!

2 thoughts on “Tinkering, Boxes, Outerspace and Rowboats……….

  1. How about an environment where the student says, "Here is what I'm going to learn/do this semester to get my half credit in __________" The teacher (or someone) has to agree and sign off. Together the student and the teacher will agree on the material to be learned, and the way in which learning is measured. They can even give different grades for different amounts of work. "If you want a B, you need to do this, but if you want an A, you need to do that, too"

  2. Contracted learning has some merit. I am not sure that we can turn it all over to the student to determine what is to be covered to earn credit. We should definitely consider their input though!

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