Tag Archives: education

Beyond Good ~ Seth’s Blog: Moving beyond teachers and bosses

We train kids to deal with teachers in a certain way: Find out what they want, and do that, just barely, because there are other things to work on. Figure out how to say back exactly what they want to hear, with the least amount of effort, and you are a ‘good student.’

We train employees to deal with bosses in a certain way: Find out what they want, and do that, just barely, because there are other things to do. Figure out how to do exactly what they want, with the least amount of effort, and the last risk of failure and you are a ‘good worker.’

Good enough is not good enough!

So many things about the structure of our schools today promote this… promote the next generation of worker bees who drone on and do ‘what needs to be done’ instead of ‘what’s possible’.

How do we UN-standardize our schools?

It starts with the smallest of points…
“A paragraph ‘needs’ to have 5 sentences.”
… Which produces a class full of mediocre 5 sentence paragraphs.

To the biggest of points…
I can’t
… Whether this is a response from a teacher or a student.

As Seth says at the end of his post: “The opportunity of our age is to get out of this boss as teacher as taskmaster as limiter mindset…”

What are our students capable of if we foster their creativity and get tests and curriculum and scheduled blocks and ‘busywork due the next day’ out of the way?

How do we move beyond educators as taskmasters?

Good enough is not good enough!

Steve Wheeler has some ‘Synching feelings’

One final word: We need to remember that professionals built the Titanic, but an amateur built the Ark. It’s not always about expertise – sometimes it’s about passion.

Go visit & read the whole post… but I wanted to share the quote above, and the post script to my comment below.

ps. I love your ‘One final word’!

Many uneducated farmers have taken machinery built by ‘experts’ and made them better. Many ‘amateur’ stargazers have made astronomical discoveries within clear view of the experts. Many educators are turning their practice inside-out and sharing what they do with the world, while the experts model great schools around getting good standardized test results… hmmmm.

T.I.C. – This is China – Blocking still works

Congratulations to the Great Filter Wall… it is alive and well, and doing it’s job. 

I’ve only heard rumours about why things are so slow here now, but I’m guessing they are right… It’s hard to create a digital ‘movement of the masses’ when connecting digitally, (and especially to the spaces where this happens), is painfully difficult. 

VPN’s (that bypass the ‘Great Filter Wall’) have been hit hard, even mine that has been stellar so far required me to get a new address from support to link up. Instead of linking through Hong Kong, my connection must now go through Los Angeles to connect. The slow internet, plus the longer connection route means it takes longer to connect, longer to load pages and impossible to do things like watch a video.

Teachers here with Yahoo or Hotmail will say to me, “What did your email say? I can get into my inbox to see you’ve sent an email, but I can’t open the message.”

I created a “Funhouse” for our club days, for a group of primary kids, and they have seen it, but not visited it yet. I did get to read the scrolling book that I pre-loaded the first day, but since then the internet has been useless and sending them to image-rich websites would be a useless activity. (I loaded the Funhouse link above to get the address to link it here and the page has yet to load as I type this.) 

So, blocking works. But at what cost. I’m scared to introduce Weebly to my staff because although it’s a great blogging platform that works here, I can only seem to get the editor to work after school when no one else is on the system. I know someone at Intel who says he can’t even upload work related photos on his home line. How many other businesses that rely on the internet are pulling their hair out? How do you do business in a connected world when the connection is severed? 

I don’t turn on Tweetdeck at work anymore because I don’t want updates to steal bandwidth from my teachers. I’m a disconnected principal that enjoys being a connected principal

The reality is that I’d like to think that information is free and accessible to all, but 1/5 of the population of the world have a filter on information, news… and learning!

And still more about CHANGE!

Great quotes on CHANGE shared on George Couros’ blog

“If teachers and students know ‘why’ then the change or the learning is meaningful…”  Edna Sackson

“Change can be a lot of work too. Sometimes people also get frustrated when it seems that we constantly have to change, and then just as things are working, we need to change again.”  Aviva Dunsinger

“Endless conversation about change is the barrier. Actually committing to doing something and then acting is what is required.”  David Jakes

“When we have the autonomy to learn for ourselves and grow through our own desires, we can and will ultimately embrace change for what it needs to be…finding a better way of doing something.”  Justin Tarte

“Put teachers together in an organized way, with clear objectives, and they’ll move mountains. Alone, the mountains are just too big!” David Truss

“…what if I build something, in this case a website on the way to building an entire movement, and wondering, and what if no one comes? That haunts me.”  Miss Shuganah

“many others have seen “the newest and greatest” ideas come and go…….and to invest their time, (because it does take time) and their energy and also possible total rethinking of everything which was their foundation — has to have a reason.”  Jennifer

“The best change comes as a result of individuals realizing they need to change. If we believe that teachers are the right people in the role, we need to help them realize this on their own and not because they feel forced. True change is internal.”  Dean Shareski

“The change that is sustainable must be something that has a reason (answering the “why’) and something that everyone has a stake in. I can get one person to change, but can I make it systemic?”  Pete Rodriguez

“It’s dangerous to think we are ever finished or have attained mastery….. which is contrary to everything we teach students by giving unit tests, by graduating them after ‘x’ number of hours, etc.” Julie Cunningham

“They (educators) need someone who has been in the trenches, slogged it out, and can share the good, the bad, the ugly about where they’re going. Too often they get someone who’s just done the research or the book learnin’. There’s no credibility there. They need to hear the war stories.“  Katherine Mann

“…my role is to be the force of change vs. having change forced on me.” Carrie Daniels

“Teachers do not fear changes that they believe in…it is those changes that are forced upon us that make us skeptical.”  Kelly Alford

“It is not change that people fear, it is the transition between where they are and where they want to be.” Ian Cullion

“As a leader (any type of leader….not just administrator!) it is our job to help people find their way in this time of change. I for one, am excited and ready to go!”  Melissa Dallinger

Here is the flickr group George created to share these. My 2nd attempt to contribute, using David Jake’s quote, is below. (I like this better than my first attempt.)

David-jakes-on-change-2

(That’s me in the photo, at Ariel’s Point near Boracay in the Philippines. Ann took the photo.)

New World Navigation

The early discoverers didn’t have a map to help them navigate from their flat world into a round world, and now it would seem that we really don’t have a map to help us navigate from our round world into a world that is suddenly flat again.

Img_3784

More like “Waiting for Kryptonite”

rather than educate the public, “Waiting for Superman” carpet bombs them with misrepresentations fueled by dubious assertions and denigrating images of public schools and teachers. Beneath its discourse of urgency, altruism and political purity parading in a messianic language of educational reform and a politics of generosity are the same old and discredited neoliberal policies that cheerfully serve corporate interests: privatization, union busting, competition as the only mode of motivation, an obsession with measurement, a relentless attack on teacher autonomy, the weakening of tenure, stripping educational goals of public values, defining teacher quality in purely instrumental terms, an emphasis on authoritative modes of management and a mindless obsession with notions of pedagogy that celebrate memorization and teach to the test. High stakes accountability and punishing modes of leadership, regardless of the damage they wreak on students and teachers, are now the only game in town when it comes to educational reform – so much so that it is called revolutionary.

From: t r u t h o u t, “When Generosity Hurts: Bill Gates, Public School Teachers and the Politics of Humiliation”

By Henry A. Giroux, October 5th, 2010

What a great quote!