Wednesday, June 10, 2009

If we trust enough, will change happen?

@shanetechteach left this as part of a comment in reply to my last post:

"...encourage all reading this to take one further risk and simply trust yourself."

He's so right in that educators often have trouble trusting in themselves enough to take the risk. I wonder why that is? And if they don't trust themselves how do we win the battle we're fighting to reform education into a new model?

I was at a workshop today and the question was posed:

What do you think the biggest roadblock to educational reform is?

Interesting question and one to which there is a myriad of possible answers:

I'd have trouble narrowing the list down to a single roadblock, they all seem rather interconnected and "messy" to me. But, at the same time, I can see the struggle we're involved in, and I believe in the cause. For me, my job is to help my students grow through learning - and more importantly, to prepare them for the world beyond the sheltered walls of the classroom.

We talk about changing education, of adapting new (21st Century) ways of teaching and learning, but there's so many things that make me stop, take stock and question. Are we really changing education? We're doing a lot to help people shift their way of thinking about learning and teaching, and upskilling them in tools which may help them make over their classrooms - but what has changed really?

  • Curriculum documents are still delivered from an external force, setting the targets, adding pressure to perform - where is the freedom for PBL in that?

  • Schools are still primarily about the buildings, the classrooms, the timetables, the routines - most of which the students aren't involved in on any level. How is this a community space?
  • Classrooms are still largely about "getting through the content" rather than negotiated learning - how does this align?

But then, it's hardly surprising that things are slow to change when teachers second guess everything. I wonder what we could achieve if we did take that courageous leap and trusted ourselves enough to risk.

If risk is what it will take to instigate real change, what would you be willing to risk?

...over to you...

1 comment:

Deon said...

I'd like to think that I'd risk failure - but the cost of failure could be a student's education...

That's a darn big risk!!!

Is it worth the taking?

I hope so...

Good lessons are learnt from failure.