Ewan has long been an activist for ideological change in educational practices. In his February 7 post he begins with a review of Sir Ken Robinson’s newly reworded treatise on creativity, The Element which I plan to read. Ewan sums it up by recalling Robinson’s previous refrain, “Schools kill creativity.” and proceeds to unleash a comprehensive diatribe on the current state of education based on his personal experience and expertise in social networking within the realm of educational technology. [Sputtering at this point.]
A word of warning–This post contains many run on sentences.
Personally, I enjoy reading passionate pieces like this one. Several words or phrases jump out at me as I review the post for the 3rd time. Creativity, outlier, entrepreneurship, brain trust and teachers. Just for fun I created a wordle to see which words really float to the surface by sheer redundancy. They are: students, teachers, schools, education, learning and technology. Hrumph. [indignantly] Maybe I’m just reading between the lines but to me the message I take away from Ewan’s post is that the very essence of individuality, pride and passion which drive the world towards positive change are being stifled by continuing pressure to promote ‘average’ as a standard and allowing business to profit from keeping education free from entrepreneurship by ignoring outliers and sidelining a brain trust of innovative teachers.
Teachers as a brain trust striving to move students forward, I like the way that sounds. In reality I think teachers have become like accountants, recording and processing information to feed the data driven factory designed to produce full compliance in generating average standardized widgets they term students. I’m cynical by nature, [required eye roll by daughter]I call myself a realist but it seems to me that learning cannot be stopped simply because of a broken system. In other words all the effort in the world devoted to killing creativity will not succeed. It will continue to grow outside the system. The outliers will pursue personal learning venues in strip malls and in virtual classrooms. Innovation will appear in unstructured settings within the 3rd world. What a shift. It may be those who are less fortunate who have the opportunity to make the greatest gains because they will have the opportunity to grow unbounded through internet access.
I would love to become part of a positive change in education. I know my fellow teachers also want what is best for children. It’s the reason they come to work every day. Kids inspire us or we wouldn’t do the job of teaching. We all want to be on a winning team grooming future world leaders, artists, writers, scientists and who knows what?! We all want to send these kids into the world with the power and passion for learning and creativity. Currently we are, metaphorically speaking, binding their feet using the methods of indoctrination prescribed by the state. And on top this vice grip, we may have to deal with teachers paid on commission! Don’t get me started on that one! [argggg] At this rate, we are crippling students. [a crescendo is building] They may not be able to walk in the world when they get out of school, let alone run! [And yes, I have have been called a drama queen. It’s what people call passionate-emotional women. Is there an equivalent term for passionate men?]