Every “new” revolution or trend in education is inevitably accompanied by the critics who wisely note “We tried this back in the x0’s.
If you want change to happen and to stick, engage your historians to better understand why things failed the first time around.
I then shared his post on my Facebook wall and added this:
When I read this I think of Dweck and Growth vs Fixed Mindset. Yes some things ‘come back’, but there can be innovation (and research) since the last time.
For example, much of the ‘learn at your own pace’ of 20 years ago meant ‘here is the (printed) package of work so that you can move ahead’ (on your own). Now with online resources, discussion forums, YouTube, access to research and experts… that ‘own pace’ can be far more collaborative and richly supported. Even more so in a learning environment that focuses on competencies & skills, rather than content.
So in this, and many other examples, it’s not like ‘we did this back in the day’… it’s fundamentally different. It still warrants critique & criticism when it’s due, but it doesn’t warrant dismissal because ‘we’ve already tried it’.
“If we are going to help our students thrive, we have to move past “the way we have always done it,” and create better learning experiences for our students than we had ourselves. This does not mean replacing everything we do, but we must being willing to look with fresh eyes at what we do and ask, “Is there a better way?” We would expect the same mindset from our students, and, as educators, that question is the first step on the path to a better future for education.”
Does it really matter if a version of what’s new has surfaced before? Or does our mindset, and our willingness to improve, matter more?
Also published on Medium.