Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back in the classroom

My dilemma - another rant:
So I now find myself back in the classroom after 3 years of busying my brain with doctoral thoughts. I have beliefs about the way we learn. I also have deep beliefs about the kind of schools I think we need to be in the 21st Century.
They go something like this:

"We need to stop thinking that the job of schools is to create the 21st century workforce, it's not. The job of our schools is nothing less than to help co-create the 21st-century citizen. We want our kids to be active, engaged citizens of the world. They'll be workers if they are that, too... that part will take care of itself. We want them to be able to engage in the world around them and to make it better. Nothing less than that is our task as educators."
- Chris Lehman

How ever I now have found myself back in the world of...
"the one hundred and one things I have to do every day and who do I need to please now?"
I feel the pressure to make the grade. To measure and to sort learners
into little boxes. How can we expect students to be participants of a connected world if we look at them and their abilities as disconnected little packages of stuff? Schools today are a product of the past. If schools are to become the kind of schools we need... they really need to look hard at disconnecting from the scientific approach of sorting and classifying based on cause and effect testing and reconnect to the more nebulous approach of personal need driven exploratory learning. The only assessment worth doing is self assessment for personal learning within a community of learners.

Do I know what I need to know to do what I want to do?
Well do I? As a researcher in Educational Technology I know the world the teachers live in. You can not expect a teacher to have much time to think about teaching and learning in a digital age when in fact they also live in the world of... 101 things.

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