Summer Reflections III

“It’s interesting to note that an enormous amount of apparently principled argument goes on about relatively tiny movements in where the line is being drawn.” –Seth Godin

The above statement is so true, especially in education!  We spend so much time debating what the standards are (always to settle on something that is not very different), how many minutes we should teach each subject, which math series we should use, whether or not to let students use cell phones (back in the 80’s it was can they use calculators, remember?), should we emphasize more grammar, or more literature, and on, and on….  When do we get to real change? 

  • Like getting rid of the idea that all students have to take the same staple classes.  
  • Not making students sit in a required course for 18 weeks to earn the credit.
  • Requiring collaboration with “real” experts outside of the classroom either in person or virtually.
  • Having students complete a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, end of career project to demonstrate skills and knowledge that apply to vocational areas of interest. 
  • Having flexible credits available by working in the field of study, taking online courses from multiple outlets, and independent study.

What is really weighing on my mind as I reflect this summer about these things is the fact that so many students come back to us from their college experiences and tell us they needed to learn to take better notes, read a lot more, and regurgitate larger amouts of data on each test.  I read this statement somewhere today…”The world we are building is so much different than what our schools are preparing students for!” (forgive me for not giving credit, I forgot where I read it) 

Some how we must break free from beating the dead horse we are all determined to ride!  After considering that change has to happen, we need to create a COMMON vision that has failed to materialize because we have yet to realize our favorite equine friend has passed on. We have been provided with wonderful tools and many hours of training has been made available, now we as a community must make the best of it for our youth, they deserve our best effort!

3 thoughts on “Summer Reflections III

  1. It seems like colleges are just another cog in a system that isn't working. The change that is needed is so huge that it is very daunting.

    I am feeling that it won't happen while I am teaching – but maybe I will see some huge changes for my grandchildren.

  2. You be the anvil, I will be the hammer. No matter how daunting, we need to make change happen now. The students in our classrooms are all somebody's grandkids! They deserve it!

  3. It seems to me that we are not provideing our students with the hands on education that many jobs in our societies are demanding of them. Even those students that are college bound have not always been able to have access to that hands on approach to life in general. I can't imagine how many kids leave for high school and have never even done their own laundry or even thought about ballancing a checkbook or paying bills. It is a scary world out there when you first enter it for the first time but we need to remember that students are the future and they need to be as prepared as we can make them, their parents, their teachers and their communities.

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