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Education Reform

December 5, 2011

OK, I’ve been gone a while (and probably will be again).  But the semester is almost over, and it looks like I’ll survive.  So here’s a post to get back on-track… maybe…

When I can, I follow Twitter and people involved in education reform (#edreform).  Today I read this article in the Washington Post by Valerie Strauss.  Now and then I read something that really resonates with me (I’ve got to be better about blogging when the spirit moves me), and this one did.

I don’t teach in a public school where we have to give a standardized test.  We do make our students take the ERB, but there is no devastating consequence for students if they do poorly.  I can’t help but feel fortunate.  Another message in Strauss’ article that we do have in common is that our curriculum is irrelevant.  My students complain they have so much work to do and feel none of it is significant.  When you heap insignificant and uninspiring work on anyone, student or not, the result is burnout and disenchantment.

Aren’t we supposed to be creating a “love of learning?”

Until colleges change their acceptance criteria, I don’t see anything changing for the better.

I started writing the rest of this post a couple months ago.  Seems like it fits…

A current (physics) student of mine sent me a link to a blog of a former (math) teacher of his.  This former teacher is embarking on a new career, but before he does he wanted to express his thoughts and feelings about the US education system and make recommendations about what reform is needed.  I recommend reading it.  The missive is long, so be prepared to sit and read for a while.

His recommendations remind me of those of Sir Ken Robinson.  You’ve probably seen his 2006 TED talk on creativity.  RSA did a cool video using an audio track of a talk from Sir Ken calling for a change in the education paradigm.

I wonder how many other people in education think this way?  And, of those, how many are in a position to change things?

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From → Thoughts & Ideas

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