Yesterday’s post on identifying the elephants in the room when it comes to talking about educational change generated a great deal of activity. From a statistical perspective, traffic on this site was up over 600% which is exciting, but it also says something about the value of the question.
The prospect of talking about what doesn’t normally get talked about is what has motivated so many new professional learning initiatives: edcamps, PLN’s, world cafés, blogs and social media networks. These are all providing opportunities to interrupt the official discourse around educational change and have the conversations that are challenging, uncomfortable but so vitally important if we are going to get to the change in public education that is good for all.
I’ve collated the responses from yesterday’s comments and am now looking for your help in finding the connective tissue. Granted, n=14, but are there some connections that might help us frame the conversation in a helpful way? Is there one group of “elephants” that grabs your attention? Are there some that stand off on their own?
Stephen Hurley’s list of Educational Elephants (at least the ones that I see)
- A fuzziness around the explicitly-stated purpose of school
- The structure of the school year.
- The role of the university in teacher education
- The effect of contractual demands on the spirit of collegiality (e.g. planning/prep time requirements, attendance at staff meetings…some other local examples)
- What it means to be a qualified teacher
- Ensuring teacher quality from within the organization
- Inclusivity in the classroom
Additions from others not in the comments below
- Commodification of public ed. via corporations presenting ambiguous notions of 21C skills (@philmcrae)
- Current Ed system IS A PRODUCTION LINE model and doesn’t serve the needs of ALL children (@roncanuel)
- Needs of adults coming before needs of children (@roncanuel)
- School Choice (@educhatter)
- The measure of success (@thought_weavers)
- True integration of all students http://fumblingaboutinthedark.blogspot.com/)
- Immovable ways of thinking about students and structures http://www.atking.ca/)
- Top down vs. bottom up leadership http://engagingourlearners.blogspot.com/)
- The value of and time spent on monolithic, provincially-mandated assessments (@Wielinga1 @bachtrac)
- Warehousing of students (@algotruneman)
- Defining learning (@willrich45)
- Homework that is not meaningful (@martylstevens)
- Multiple systems of public education (@GaryZalepa)
Looking forward to your input!