5 Comments

  1. Great post George! As educators, we should be at the front of innovation and more importantly, helping our students to become innovators. We need to stretch ourselves and push our thinking from what is to what could be….before we are outdated!

    Jon

  2. Here we are in British Columbia on the eve of embarking on a new curriculum. And we have great hope for the refreshed look at curricular competencies, with phrases like like: “demonstrate sustained curiosity”, “collaboratively plan investigation methods”, and “critically analyze the validity of information “. Yet to get to these competences, we have to go through a corridor with labels that look all too familiar. Arts, French, English, Math, PE, Science, and Social Studies. The new curriculum has its foundational structure in the old: the new wine has been put into old wineskins.

    We had an opportunity to build a cross curricular platform. In fact, we could have destroyed the term “cross-curricular”. (doesn’t learning hop curricular barriers constantly?). But we returned back to the familiar, the comfortable.

    It just confirms in me that more than ever, we need to look at what we do with an innovators mindset. Oh to see more reflective, risk-taking problem finders in Education that we might not miss opportunities to move from good to great.

    • That’s a sobering thought, Sean. I’m here in Ontario, excited to hear about the incredible reforms in education in BC, so I’m disappointed to hear that while some things have changed, much has stayed the same. As a classroom teacher, I love pushing the boundaries of innovation, but do feel very restricted by my curricular “silo” that says that all the learning has to touch on these few discrete areas in this one subject. I recently saw Will Richardson speak and his comment was that we don’t need to do better, we need to do different. I couldn’t agree more.

  3. Kirsten

    Precisely why being weighed down with archaic systems and overloaded curriculums is a disaster! And so we pay lip service to areas of education that we know are basically running our world. ‘Hour of Code?’ Please – 20 years ago I had 5 year olds doing basic programming during math and using it for demonstrating how to write instructions. We had 8 year olds writing simple programmes to run control technology. So much in our society runs through programming but we’ve not brought it in to our mainstream system. Which will put our kids at a disadvantage. In elementary we spend half our time learning how to be authors and story writers, which is something most of us will never be. Yet many of us will blog or use multimedia to get a message across. And you know what? When I do this with my kids, they are awesome! They can whip up an i-movie to persuade you on just about anything. And they move swiftly between multiple platforms and multiple applications, adapting and creating. But they are hampered by an old and sagging framework of expectation. Unless we force feed them a ‘writing by numbers’ approach, then they are seen as ‘failing standard.’ But it’s the standards that are failing them as we exist in a multimedia, technologically developed world that they should be learning to manage, not be managed by!

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