The context for this one is simple enough–what mistakes do we constantly make in education that hold us back from the best versions of ourselves? From realizing our collective potential as a construct, field, and industry? What mistakes do we make over and over and over again, expecting a different result each time?
- Forget learning should be fun.
- Think of children like little adults.
- Gamify compliance to institutional policies instead of social change and disruptive creativity.
- Place students on the periphery when we design, plan, and respond to their learning. (It’s theirs, not ours.)
- Assume all kids need to know the same things.
- Fail to meaningfully involve–or better yet, require–community involvement in every layer of our system of teaching and learning.
- Build big schools and expect personalization.
- Prioritize uniformity and expect creativity.
- Teach content instead of thinking.
- Reduce understanding to letters and numbers.
- Talk about ideas instead of the effects of those ideas.
- Value answers over questions.
- Say we value depth over breadth, but then have policies and systems in place that imply the opposite.
- Fail to protect, optimize, support, innovate, and otherwise increase teacher planning time.
- Design curriculum based on content instead of thinking and action.
- Forget that play is the highest form of learning. (We come to understand through play; we can’t “play” with what we don’t understand; we can’t fail to improve our understanding when we play.)
- Look back instead of forward.
- Plan the delivery of that curriculum as a matter of chronology–that is, treat it as if it is linear.
- Actually believe that every single student can master every single academic standard–without making them think they hate learning.
- Teach reading like a skill instead of a knowledge-seeking, pleasurable activity.
- Believe that student engagement and curiosity are merely goals instead of absolutely mandatory.
- Blame technology when the pedagogy is bad.
- Blame pedagogy when the technology is bad.
- Under-utilize and under-serve truly gifted learners. (Actually, we under-utilize and under-serve the gifts of all learners, but we have downright brilliant students in our schools just eking out an academic existence instead of changing the world.)
- Make schools look less like museums and more like corporate offices.
- Make good ideas into “programs,” then wonder why teachers roll their eyes at good ideas.
- Separate curriculum, assessment, instruction, and technology.
- Value teacher compliance over teacher capacity.
- Celebrate uniformity and teachers being on the “same page,” but expect great teaching.
- Let teachers talk more than students.
- Under-value relationships with students (including formal mentoring programs).
(This article/text/quote/image are shared in good spirit to strang then school education system.)
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