Crown of Thorns for Education Reformers


While skimming blog entries today, I was struck by a point that truly resonated with me:

...why aren’t we seeing the change we need at the pace we need it and the pace the kids deserve it?

The answer is us. It truly is us. We are the problem. We are the disablers. We are the barriers the students cannot break through. Don’t get me wrong. We are using new tools with students in some amazing ways. We are engaging them like never before. Yet, we do it in spurts. It is just a modernized version of our old, standby friend the poster project. The kids get all excited, not because it is a good project, but because it is not a text and worksheet. That’s just wrong. To quote my friend and mind stretching mentor Dr. Gary Stager, “The blame lies within the bankruptcy of our imaginations.”
Source: A Piece of My Mind

That the answer is in our hands and the bankruptcy of our imaginations, as Scott and Gary put it, can be humbling. How do you become more creative and innovative?

For some, the answer is changing the leadership. It's encapsulated in the exclamation, "If the leaders don't get it, no one else will either!" with "it" being technology in school's, but also a greater understanding of how technology can transform teaching, learning and leading. Perhaps bankruptcy of imagination explains why a recent DiigoNotes blog post, 7 Skills Schools Should Teach has resulted in 30% of the visits to the Around the Corner Blog. We simply need ideas on what to do.

But why is that? Why isn't it enough to rely on our own knowledge and awareness of what children need? The answer may be that we just don't feel confident in what we believe. Barrage after barrage of books, pundits, experts telling us what to do, what we're doing wrong, suggesting alternative approaches to we could be doing, maybe our self-confidence as educators is at an all-time low.

I'd like to think that the bombastic effluence of enthusiastic education emendation will soon come to an end, but that would be too much to hope for. Ahh, give me a reformer whose humility crowns his head like thorns, each thorn a failed reform and, thus, a lesson learned of how not to do things, boasting not of change to be rendered like a magicians with a sleight of hand, but how we can, like the achievement of enlightenment, grow to be the people our children need us to be.



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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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