Posted by: crudbasher | May 28, 2010

A Thought Experiment – Are you an Education Radical?

Jason T Bedell has been hosting an interesting series of guest blog posts this week on his site jasontbedell.com.  The posting for today was really good and sparked a train of though.

I have been actively developing my PLN since January. Since then I noticed there is a definite echo chamber effect.  I think everyone agrees that something needs to change with Education, and many think it has to be a radical change.  As I see it there are 2 major problems.

1.  There are many possible solutions, but nobody knows what ones will work well.
2.  The people who could make these changes are perfectly happy with the current system.

Let me summarize.  As long as the argument about the current public education system is about funding then nothing will change.  If the argument is about learning then it will.

Here’s a thought experiment for you:

Let’s say you came up with a revolutionary system of education that guarentees you will be able to produce effective “21st century learners” (I don’t like that term but ok).  The best part is, you can do it with a third the cost of the current education system and with a third the staff.  So, who would be for this and who would be against it?  Interesting eh?

Mary-Beth Hertz writes a guest post about how to spread ideas about using technology to fellow teachers, beyond your usual circle of fellow travelers.

  • Nice post about how to evangelize advanced tech to fellow teachers

    tags: education, technology, sharing

    • while my colleagues challenge me, we tend to agree on most levels.  We discuss tech integration, education reform, homework, student motivation and we share Web 2.0 tools and projects amongst ourselves, but these conversations rarely leave our small circle. We often say that we are stuck in an echo chamber.
    • So how do we open the chamber up?
    • Find a colleague who seems open to new things:
    • Share:
    • Don’t keep quiet:
    • Be a model for what you believe teaching and learning should look and sound like:
    • Keep the conversation going in the Echo Chamber:
    • Change, at least meaningful change, is a slow and deliberate process.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Responses

  1. Great forecast. Myself and two others are trying to evangelize our dept of 25 educators in my school and are having some success. We’ve been modeling our collaboration for 1 year, using moodle, google docs, wordpress, vodcasting, delicious and diigo. After a year we unleashed our findings at our dept meeting. Half were enthralled and the other half resistant. Changes are happening and I’m glad to be at the center of it with an awesome PLN in my school. Keep the blog going and keep forging ahead.

    posthhs

  2. Thanks much for your comments posthhs. Do you have a twitter account so I could follow you? I am crudbasher on twitter.

    • Nevermind, I searched for posthhs and there you were! I am now following you. (in another context that would be creepy)

  3. Oh Andy, you rock.
    Although I am sorry that this post was buried at the bottom of my RSS this week, I very much appreciate you giving me the nudge to read it, mainly because you KNEW I would be compelled to leave a comment. Of course, I would.

    Obviously, I’m biased. I’m an Instructional Designer. I know distance learning works, but like all learning, it only works if it’s done right. My saying is as follows: Not every instructor can teach online, not every student can take online courses, and not every course can go online. But, I also believe any educational system will always keep true to my saying as well. (Try my saying with private schools, public schools, charter schools, home schooled, or privately tutored.)

    I really believe that every student learns a different way, and they should be given a chance to learn in their style.

    As you mentioned, there are many choices, many options, many solutions, many suggestions, many experts, many theories, etc. Who’s to say they are all wrong? Who’s to say what is right? The obvious answer is: no one. Everyone learns differently.

    Last but not least, the idea of a professional learning community (PLC) has been around for a while, but schools often miss what I think is a very important piece: students. Students also need the opportunity to collaborate, share ideas, and be a mentor.

    • Heh great response! The more I get into the root of the education problem, the more I realize that one of the biggest problems is everyone brings baggage to the table. They say when all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. Many people are trying to push one solution for everything, but how does that help? Children are individuals, and should have an education that is individualized for them. This requires choices. Right now the education system does not allow choices for most kids. That is a shame and can’t last.

      I am hopeful that the Internet is going to allow new ideas to spread around to the people who can influence things.

      Thanks so much for posting!

  4. […] A Thought Experiment – Are you an Education Radical? […]


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