Tag Archives: teachers

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!

elearnspace › It’s New! It’s New! › George Siemens

It is my main critique with the emotional-feel-good message of Ken Robinson’s focus on creativity. First, we need to get over the view that our generation is astonishingly unique. Hasn’t every generation faced new technologies to solve problems not foreseen? The present moment arrogance that invades much of school reform thinking is frustrating. And, I might as well add, the pendulum-thinking mindset that is evident in Robinson’s view is damaging in the long term. If a view of educational reform is defined by the current reality that it is reacting against, rather than a holistic model of what it will produce in the future, then we’re playing a game of short-term gains, planting in our revolution the seeds for the next revolution that will push back against gains that we make now.

Developing capacity for complexity. Complexity is the DNA of society. Whenever multiple agents interact, outcomes are uncertain. Failure to account for complexity in organizational design, teacher preparation, and business planning is a short path to frustration. Yes, it would be nice if the world was complicated – like a puzzle where every piece has a right place. But it’s not. It’s complex – like a weather system where changes in one aspect of the system cascades and influences the entire system, often in unpredictable ways. Unfortunately, complexity is not built into the educational system. We seek “general right answers” rather than “contextual right answers”.

The pendulum-thinking issue has been on my mind, but I have not been able to express it as well as George does here. It reminds me of the dichotomized digital native vs digital immigrant issue which can also be counter-productive.

I also wonder how many ‘rules’ and ‘expectations’ are created because of present moment arrogance? Are filters our equivalent of book burnings? Are our subject blocks created by a parochial curriculum? Are typing skills equivalent to quill pen skills of the past? How is our arrogance counter-revolutionary?

In the second section, I love the puzzle vs weather system metaphor! Using a metaphor exemplifies contextual complexity!