Monday, March 17, 2014

Education Adjusting to Change

     So, the story goes like this...

     Rip Van Winkle sleeps for 100 years.  Then he wakes up.  He walks around town and sees a supermarket and says, "Wow, this is very different from what I remember before I slept for 100 years." Then he walks a little further and sees a neighborhood of houses and (again) remarks about how different everything is.  Then he walks a little further and sees a school.

    Rip Van Winkle walks into the school.  He walks down the halls; he walks into classrooms.  He sees the rows of desks; the teacher's desk in the front of the classroom; the board in the front of the classroom.  He smiles and breathes a sign a relief.  "This", he says, "looks familiar to me."

    Of course, this story is not a compliment to our public schools.

     This story illustrates how difficult it has been for our public schools to change over the years.  While some people find  comfort in this "sameness", many public educators are greatly bothered by the fact that public schools has difficulty keeping up with the world around us--the world (by the way) that our students will enter when they leave formal schooling.  And the world that our students currently live in!

     But this IS changing in some places and (sometimes) the change is one class at a time.  Our younger teachers are all-too-ready to use technology in the classroom and to engage students in their learning with fun activities that require them to get out of their seats and to interact with other students.  And it isn't just our newest teachers that are leading this change; our veteran teachers that strive to improve every year are also anxious to embrace educational technology and Student Engagement strategies.

     This change is taking place right now.  But we accept that public education will constantly change to mirror society.  This isn't a one-time-thing.  Change is constant in public education from now on.  And isn't this what we want from our public schools?

Public Schools and Choice

       Is it true that public school kids and their public school parents don't have choices?  I'm sure that I will expose my igno...

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