Thursday, August 4, 2011

Changing Education Paradigms

Yesterday at my district's voluntary PD "Leadership Academy", we watched and discussed an interesting video from RSA Animate.  I'd seen and enjoyed several other thought-provoking videos from RSA Animate in the spring, but this one is even better!

The basic "big ideas" out of our small group's discussion ended up being:
  • How do we change education in radical ways to benefit our students when the current structure is so ingrained in our society and "education reform" is emphasizing standardized testing?
  • If we each do as much as we can in our own classrooms to engage students in 21st Century Skills, can our excellent district be a leader for others in changing education from the inside out?
  • Another article we read (by Diane Ravitch) that was supposed to be a counterpoint to the video reminded us that subject matter knowledge is still important too.  We concluded that the article isn't really a counterpoint to the video, but an addition: so-called 21st Century Skills are essential to learning, but so is content.  In the article, Ravitch points out that "one cannot think critically until one has quite a lots of knowledge to think about."  
Another quote from the same article that I really loved: "Until we teach our teachers and our students to love knowledge and to love learning, we cannot expect them to use their minds well." (Diane Ravitch)

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