Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pondering- the pendulum swings

I have read some blog posts recently that have me pondering education, technology in education and the big picture of society in general. Some in Washington are pushing a carrot and stick approach for change by offering states "Race to the Top" funding if the regulations put forth with the money are followed. Teacher accountability and testing of students seem to be the major theme of it. Other knowledgeable but less powerful individuals are saying no change can fix the problems with education today, instead we need a to start anew. Once again the pendulum swings with educators caught in the middle. It is only natural to think about "how will this change affect me?".

Most every educator that I know wants what is best in regard to his or her students. We are not afraid of change necessarily. Most of us embrace change so long as in the end, it will be benefiting the kids. This is the reason I think that we allow the pendulum to swing. Other individuals more powerful than us decide upon a course of action that they believe will help our students. We have trusted them or at the very least complied so that we did not lose our jobs.

The hard working, professional, caring individual teachers that are abounding in our society, both present and past, are who in part, made us who we are today. We do not have all of the answers to how to make things right in education. I think if asked however, many of us could let our government and educational leaders know what is working, what is not, and then offer suggestions on change that truly could be effective. Most teachers are either never asked, too busy with day to day teaching or feel that if they raise concerns, their job will be in jeopardy.

Do I think a total overhaul of education is needed? This depends on where you are and what the state you live in has done in support of education. Here in Wisconsin, we have done a good job in most regards and smaller changes would make a good education system better. I think in some places that starting over might be the best approach. In general, I think that when you type cast anything and say that ALL MUST DO, that you miss the differences that are inherent in life.

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