I have participated in the Twitter chat #Whatisschool several times and each time find inspiration that there is a powerful force at work in attempting to rein-vision education and especially public schools. There have been conversations about Homework, Grading, and so many other topics that I think need to happen in order to move us forward.
Today I listened to a great TEDx video by Seth Godin. Here is his post that accompany's his video. In his video, Seth asks What is School For? As part of my Administrative coursework I am reading a book "American Education" by Joel Spring. The book illustrates the ideas of Horace Mann and others in shaping public education as a way to prepare our children for lives beyond school. I think that vision continues today. However Mann and others, and many today don't necessarily want to see a free thinking citizenry ready to question society, government, parents or other authority figures. There are those who view education as a pipeline to create workers who will be subservient to the CEOs or bosses of the companies who are focused on profits. A lot of this I already understood as someone who taught History and Sociology. What I came to realize is the large scale efforts and by so many different groups to achieve very similar results at work behind the scenes in public education. What stood out to me about this post and the video was the fact he was not only brining to light the issue, but also looking at ideas for change. We need to get rid of memorization and factoid knowledge and replace it with inquiry and individual choice. Some of the things he discussed would be so revolutionary for education that the way school looks and operates would forever change. It might be a lot more of a blended model of education where students access content online and engage with instructors face to face later. It might be difficult to have schools with the traditional brick and mortar buildings in place as students can chose from a variety of courses that suit their interests and needs.
I like his comparison between work and art. The idea that we will work tirelessly and go well beyond expectations for things we are passionate about is absolutely true.
There were so many interesting points. I encourage you to take a look.