Several weeks ago, Matt Guthrie and I decided to pre-load #Edchat with entries on our blogs. Last week Chad Sansing and I did the same. They each call it the pregame show, so I’m going to begin to use that language as well. In the conversation on my blog about grading, though, Matt Townsley stated that, “Allowing new evidence of learning to replace the old is a big paradigm shift.” Since then, I have been thinking about the big paradigm shifts we need to undergo to really change our schools.
I lived Educon last weekend, participating in some amazing conversations. I encourage you all to go to the Educon site and live through the conversations vicariously, and join in any way you can. I’ve also been exploring some Edutopia links (thanks to a tweet I read sometime this past week) and am also involved in an online eTeacher course through my county while I’ve basically been at home snowbound!
So I’ve had lots of time to think, reflect and the question I’ve been thinking about since Matt’s comment is
What are the big paradigm shifts that need to happen for education to be most meaningful for students?
In the past week or so, lots of people way smarter than me have put proposals out there based on Educon conversations or Twitter interactions or life experiences. Some of the suggestions I have seen include
- Teaching kids HOW to think, rather than “to think critically.” (Thanks to Kevin Washburn.)
- Students graduating with a resume rather than a transcript (Thanks to Ken Bernstein)
- The link between inquiry and care-Chris Lehmann’s reflection from Educon
- Teachers encouraging their students to evaluate them ( (Teacher Gets A Report Card from Deven Black)
- from a new hashtag #rbrc (rubric without the vowels)
- Students designing assessments for learning
- Students designing their own learning plans
- Students creating rubrics
- Students pursuing their passions and being taught how to do so (research, etc.)
- Community supported inquiry–learning from each other
Then, in my Edutopia reading, I saw this:
“Today’s students will enter a job market that values skills and abilities far different from the traditional workplace talents that so ably served their parents and grandparents. They must be able to crisply collect, synthesize, and analyze information, then conduct targeted research and work with others to employ that newfound knowledge. In essence, students must learn how to learn, while responding to endlessly changing technologies and social, economic, and global conditions.”
Okay, I don’t think the people I interact with on Twitter and #Edchat would argue too much with that statement. I think all the parts and pieces listed above it could fairly easily be included in learning experiences that allowed students to do the things listed in that quote. I also think about my student who clearly showed MY emphasis when she made a “Cool Math Words” page on her wiki–look at the first word.
So, I proposed the following question to #EdChat :
What should be the essential learnings that students get from attending school?
(and maybe “attending school” should be “our lessons” so it would read
“What should be the essential learnings our students get from our lessons?”)
I’d like to see what others think and what you’d add to that quote.
And, beyond that, what would lessons look like if we designed them so that they clearly showed what we value in education?