To Advance Education, We Must First Reimagine Society

To Advance Education, We Must First Reimagine Society

There’s nothing new here as such. It’s very much in the Ken Robinson tradition, and it’s an argument many of us are familiar with and supportive of. But it can bear telling and hearing again, because my daily experience of education is so far from where we should be, so close to where we shouldn’t, that it makes me want to weep. I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll say it again: there’s only so much a teacher can do in his or her own classroom. For real positive change and an education fit to be called such, the vision, momentum and support needs to come from the decision-makers and be put into practice on a whole-school basis. Change needs to be driven.

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3 thoughts on “To Advance Education, We Must First Reimagine Society

  1. I’m glad you liked my article. However, I would like to challenge this phrase in your post: “the vision, momentum and support needs to come from the decision-makers”. Waiting for “authorities” to change a system pretty much guarantees it won’t happen, because they have the least to gain (and a lot to lose, in many cases) from changing the status quo. I didn’t explicitly state it in the article, but Mr. Abbott’s message includes another paradigm shift: for EVERYONE to think of him- or herself as a “decision-maker.”

    • Agreed. And I’m happy to make those decisions. Indeed I do. But mine is one class among many that the students take – if we’re talking IB, then one of seven, if IGSCE then one of maybe ten. I can do what I like in my class, but unless the message and vision are consistent across at least most of a curriculum, then most teachers I know (English and international) and the kids themselves (in my experience) tend to stick to what they know, which is unquestioning and industrial by design. That’s why they need to put me in charge :)

  2. You’re right, there are some constraints that can’t be overcome in a given setting, if leaders aren’t amenable to change. That is what has led some teachers to put themselves in charge, e.g. by starting their own learning centers, such as http://partsandcrafts.org/.

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