“Mental models organized by an entrenched image of what teaching is will stay firmly in place until we move the conversation to an intense focus on learning… At this point, we appear to have a 19th century curriculum, 20th century buildings and organizations and 21st century students facing an undefined future.”
Chris Kennedy wants, “sustained, meaningful conversations about k-12 education focussed on ideas. “
And more and more, I’m thinking that the changes we want… and need… involve truly questioning everything we do structurally and why we do it?
Why fill a new classroom with individual student desks?
Why have a unidirectional ‘front’ of the room? Why not have everything on wheels?
Why have the whole day set up with classes in blocks?
Why design a teacher’s schedule based on instructional time?
Why have the whole day divided by age-grouped classes?
Why a fixed curriculum in every subject? Why fixed subjects? Why textbooks?
Why grade all subjects? Why grade at all?
Why a focus on testing? How best do we ‘test’ a student’s understanding?
How do we un-school schools? How do we shift to be focused primarily on learning?
How do we integrate technology meaningfully?What’s coming up next? How do we prepare for this?
How do we give students appropriate credit for things done outside of school and classes?
Where is school being done ‘right’? What models are working? Who should we be paying attention to?
It is an exciting time to ‘think different’, to question the status quo, and to be true agents of change.
Question your assumptions.
Question why we do what we do in schools.
Question everything that keeps schools from being what they can be… now!
What will you question about your practice or the practice of schools in 2011?
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Update: March 27th, 2012
See my post-reflection: Truly Questioning Everything