I often read things like this lovely blog-post and come away thinking: “Yeah! Down with the establishment! Let the revolution begin! Where’s a trashcan so I can toss it through a store-front?” (You know, a metaphorical trashcan which stands for project-based learning, and a store-front which represents standardized testing. Definitely not a real trashcan. The throwing of which would not be even slightly fun.)
(Disclaimer: Not me, and not strictly education-related.)
Not that I think this blogger is even remotely advocating violent upheaval. Just the nonviolent kind. But upheaval nonetheless.
The thing that gives me pause after reading something like this – which advocates, essentially, unreasonableness when pursuing education goals which will help to better serve students – is my dubiousness over whether it will matter. Too often in the news or even in daily conversations with my fellow Americans/voters/humans I hear rhetoric and see interactions which show a culture of dismissiveness toward teachers, their opinions, expertise, concerns, and statements concerning children’s educational needs. I don’t think that it’s by any means the norm for teachers to be shy when telling administrators and policy-makers what they think about how education should work – it’s pretty easy to find YouTube videos chronicling town-hall after town-hall full of angry teachers and parents ostentatiously confronting administrators and even potential future presidents over everything from funding to adoption of the Common Core.
It’s true that the blog I’ve mentioned is focusing on what teachers can do in their school and classroom, and not necessary on the macropolitical aspect of public education. But I for one would like to see a shift in the system toward a paradigm under which a teacher doesn’t have to fight so hard to justify sound curriculum and sound pedagogy – where such things are the norm, not something that has to be snuck in under the noses – or flaunted in the faces – of administrators, or crammed in wherever it can fit in the nonexistent gaps in the state-approved curriculum.
Sigh. I’m ranting again. Oh well – call me unreasonable. Apparently that’s okay. 😉